The final encounter in this three-match Twenty20 (T20) series takes place at Stadium Australia in Sydney on Sunday morning, although like so many other previous matches for England on this tour Down Under, it is just a dead rubber after George Bailey’s men easily won the first two contests.
However, with the World T20 set to get under way in Bangladesh in March, both teams know that there is still plenty to play for in this last showdown of the winter, while the beleaguered tourists would love nothing better than to leave Australia with only their second international victory.
What: Australia vs. England, third Twenty20 International
Where: Stadium Australia, Sydney
When: Sunday, Feb. 2, 8:35 a.m. GMT/7:35 p.m. local time
Live Stream/TV info: Sky Sports 2
TV info: Sky Sports 2, 8 a.m. GMT, highlights Sky Sports 2, 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 8 p.m., 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. GMT
Australia: George Bailey (capt.), Aaron Finch, Daniel Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Ben Cutting, Josh Hazlewood, Brad Hodge, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead, Kane Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade (wk), Cameron White
England: Stuart Broad (capt.), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler (wk), Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Michael Lumb, Eoin Morgan, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Luke Wright
Australia: So far utterly dominant with bat, ball and in the field in the opening two contests, so much so that George Bailey’s men will start as overwhelming favourites to make it a clean sweep in Sydney on Sunday regardless of which XI they opt to go with.
England: The tourists currently look a pale shadow of the unit that were crowned T20 world champions against Australia four years ago and that then also went on to be the number-one ranked side on the planet in this form of the game. This team now finds itself down in eighth place in the International Cricket Council standings after the two losses Down Under.
What a reintroduction back into the Aussie fold for the blonde-haired all-rounder these first two internationals have been, with the Victorian opener smashing 75 from 43 balls in a man-of-the-match display in Hobart, followed by an unbeaten 58 off 45 deliveries in Melbourne.
And now the 30-year-old will be looking to seal his spot in Australia’s World T20 squad for Bangladesh next month with a third eye-catching performance in Sydney.
The tall Nottinghamshire opener is currently ranked the best batsman in the world in this form of the game, and his country now need him to show his big-hitting abilities more than ever in this final dead rubber on Sunday.
The 25-year-old has got a start in both of the first two matches, before crucially then giving his wicket away on both occasions, however, if the powerful and clean-striking right-hander can bat for any length of time, then England know they will be in with a great chance of posting a big total.
Weather: According to the BBC, expect a low of 23 and a high of 34 degrees celsius for this day-night affair at Stadium Australia, with not a hint of rain at all to spoil proceedings.
Pitch: The last T20 international to be staged on this ground was against Sri Lanka this time last year when the tourists won by five wickets after chasing down 138 to win on a slow, low deck, much like Sunday’s surface is also expected to be.
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