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Saturday was a day of heartbreaks as far as Australia's sports fans are concerned. First, the Australian men's team lost to France in a FIFA World Cup match and Ireland in a Rugby game and then suffered a defeat in this ongoing Cricket series. Although England won the second ODI convincingly, Shaun Marsh and Australia certainly managed to win some hearts following their terrific fightback in the second ODI of the series. The fightback will definitely instill some belief and confidence in the visitors which could be a key thing as the teams move to Trent Bridge to meet for the third time in the series. The 2nd ODI had many up and downs including the rain playing spoilsport twice. Australia are two-nil down but not out, yet. They're certainly capable of defeating the best on their day. England, on the other hand, have bounced back sharply after their surprise loss against Scotland. This ODI series is picking up the pace and the third ODI promises to be yet another exciting contest.
It was a happy hunting day for the home team as they not only won the match but also rewrote some records in the book of history. England scored their highest tally ever against Australia in any One Day International and the crowd of Cardiff witnessed the highest total scored at the Sophia Gardens. Notably, each of England's first five pairs scored together in excess of half-century which is also a record in itself.
Playing without their regular skipper Eoin Morgan, the English batting looked a little brittle at the start of the match. However, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler, their stand-in skipper, had other ideas. Jonny Bairstow looked fluent right from the beginning of the innings but perished for his personal score of 41. Jason Roy continued on his merry way to score his 5th ODI century. English middle-order struggled to maintain pace once Roy departed with only Buttler being able to break free. Buttler took some time to build his innings, but he looked at his best during the fag end of the innings. He finished unbeaten on 91 which took only 70 deliveries.
Similar to their last match, Liam Plunkett was handy as his variations suited the surface perfectly. Plunkett's figures of 9.1-0-53-4 were not only the best in the innings but in the match. Moeen Ali's accurate off-spinners proved too tough to handle for the Aussies as none of their batsmen could garner neither power nor timing to hit him out of the park. Although Adil Rashid picked up three wickets and his variations were in particular difficult to read, he was too expensive for the team's liking. He gave away 70 runs in his quota of 8 overs.
England have now won seven out of their last eight ODIs with the loss against Scotland as their only defeat. Their recent One Day International record is phenomenal and has everything to be the envy of. Eoin Morgan is expected to be back in the next game and this English side will be back to its full strength. Considering the way England have been playing, it's certainly going to be a hard job beating them.
JJ Roy, Jonny Bairstow, AD Hales, JE Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, David Willey, LE Plunkett, AU Rashid, M Wood.
Although the margin of loss was just 38 runs, the difference in the actual on-field performances of the two sides was a lot more. Shaun Marsh's heroics brought the visitors within the touching distance of a win but with no support from any other top-order batsmen, getting to even 300 was a colossal effort.
Coming into the game, the Australians strengthened their batting by picking D'Arcy Short for Michael Neser, but the move did not yield fruitful results. D'Arcy Short's horrid run of form continued here too as he struggled to put anything away on a slow wicket. To provide solidity to the middle order, Aaron Finch was shifted to number five, but the time he arrived, Australia was in deep trouble. He, anyway, departed without troubling the scorers while trying to sweep a straight delivery from Adil Rashid.
All their bowlers were expensive and the absence of a frontline spinner was clearly felt. Ashton Agar was their only bowler who went for below six runs an over, 52 in his 9 to be precise. Australia haven't really done much wrong on the field in the series so far. With the lack of an experienced spinner in their playing XI has pushed them behind. If the conditions continue to support spinners in the next few games as well, we may well see Nathan Lyon in action soon. All in all, Australia are a decent ODI outfit, but beating England will require a more than decent effort from them.
TM Head, D'Arcy Short, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Aaron Finch, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Ashton Agar, AJ Tye, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake.
As was the case in Cardiff, expect the team winning the toss to bowl first.
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It was a belter of a wicket in Cardiff which showed signs of slowing down as the match progresses. Trent Bridge is expected to be an even better batting surface which promises us another high-scoring match. Tuesday is expected to be a little cloudy and therefore there may be some assistance for quick bowlers. Despite that, the team batting first will want to put up a total of at least 300 runs on the board.
It's a do-or-die match for Australia with series at stake. They'd like to defeat England at Trent Bridge to stay afloat in the series, hanging by a thin thread. England, on the other hand, have had a terrific series so far and would love to take the series and rest their key players in the remaining matches. While we could see them give chance to some of the newer guys after this match, they are expected to come in all guns blazing in this match. Considering the form they're in and Australia's apparent trouble against spin, England go into this match too as firm favorites.