England managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat to stay alive in the three-match ODI series and keep their home record intact. At the halfway stage, it all looked like Australia would break the chain of home series wins for England. However, after the dismissal of Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch, Australia veered from control to chaos. This wasn’t the only case of them losing the plot, even in the T20I series Australia sunk subsequently after being in a winnable position.
With the series pushed to the decider, England will look to finish the summer on a high by maintaining their home series streak. On the other hand, Australia will be keen on seeking redemption from the loss in the T20I series.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Matches – 151 | ENG – 63 Wins | AUS – 83 Wins | Tie – 2 | NR - 3
In England: Matches – 72 | ENG – 36 Wins | AUS – 32 Wins | Tie – 2 | NR - 3
At Venue: Matches – 14 | ENG – 8 Wins | AUS – 6 Wins
Last 5 Matches: ENG – 3 Wins | AUS – 2 Wins
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre. Based on algorithms we come up with six different teams that could fetch crucial points.
In the first two ODIs played at Old Trafford, both spinners and the pacers had pleasant outings. Since 2016 in ODIs, only at Lord’s pacers have a better strike rate than what they have in Old Trafford.
On average, 281 runs have been scored in the 1st innings. Irrespective of the 1st innings score, a target of over 230 hasn’t been chased in ODIs since 2016 at the Old Trafford. In the second ODI, England defended 232. Since 2019, none of the teams batting 2nd have won a match out of the 8 played in this time frame.
The first 10 overs have been a difficult phase for the batsmen at Old Trafford since 2016 in ODIs. Bowlers have been able to strike early, in fact, the balls/dismissal ratio of 35.3 at Old Trafford is the best among all the venues in England with 5 or more matches. It was evident in the first two ODIs as well.
In this series, the spinners have been able to provide an early breakthrough much quicker than the fast bowlers. On another note, the pacers have been more economical. They have bagged 72.2% of the wickets to fall as compared to 27.8% by spinners.
The third ODI will be played on a new strip, which means the freshness suits the pacers and batsmen as it might come on to the bat. However, looking at the success of the leggies in the first ODI, their selection in the fantasy league is not to be discarded.
Steve Smith, one of Australia’s core batsman is set to return after passing both his concussion Tests. Stoinis might be the batsman who will be making way for Smith, which is why Stoinis' selection is not advisable.
The likes of Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc on a fresh pitch could be threatening. Adam Zampa and Adil Rashid with their performances make a strong case of selection as well.
There could be a few interesting match-ups too.
STEVE SMITH vs ADIL RASHID
Smith is a good player of spin, but Adil Rashid in this case has outsmarted the best batsman of Australia. In the 11 innings face-off, Rashid has dismissed Smith on 5 occasion with an average of 19.8.
DAVID WARNER vs JOFRA ARCHER
The big quick has been a tormentor to the Australian opener. In all the four innings Warner has faced him this series, he has been Archer’s prey. In ODIs, he has faced 22 balls and got out to Archer twice at an average of less than 10.
JOE ROOT vs MITCHELL STARC
Starc might be one of the best white-ball bowlers, but against Root he has been toothless. In the 11 innings Starc has bowled to him, Root has been all over him with an average of over 100 and strike-rate of close to 90.
JONNY BAIRSTOW vs MITCHELL STARC
While Root has been fairly comfortable against Starc, the same can't be said about Bairstow. In the 10 innings against the left-arm quick, Bairstow has got out to him 4 times at an average of less than 20.
AARON FINCH: Just 29 away from 5000 ODI runs, Finch put on a lion-hearted effort in the second ODI. But, the rest failed to carry forward and take Australia over the line. En route his 73, Finch surpassed Allan Border and Shane Watson to become the third-highest run-scorer for an Australian against England in ODIs. With 1342 runs against the arch-rivals and the form he is in, what’s not there to make him the captain in the fantasy team as well?
Our Criclytics player projector predicts, Finch could score 17-44 runs in the third ODI.
JOFRA ARCHER: The tall quick bowler has been breathing fire this series. In both the ODIs, he bagged three wickets each and is the second-highest wicket-taker in this series with 6 wickets. His 6 wickets have come every 20 balls and 15.2 runs this series.
At Old Trafford, in the three innings he has figures of 3/34 (v AUS, 2020), 3/57 (vs AUS, 2020) & 3/52 (vs AFG, 2019). Certainly, those figures aren’t to be something to ignored, which is why he is one of the X-factors. On a different note, a feisty contest awaits when Smith and Archer go face to face.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Archer could bag 0-3 wickets in the third ODI.
ADAM ZAMPA: On a surface where there is minimal support, Zampa has been on top of his game. He has 7 wickets in this series, which have come every 17.1 balls. In the tough conditions of England, Zampa has been brilliant with the ball. He has 14 wickets in English conditions at a balls/dismissal ratio of 28.0. The balls/dismissal ratio of 28.0 is the second-best among the spinners with more than 10 wickets in English conditions.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts Zampa could pick 0-3 wickets in the third ODI.
JONNY BAIRSTOW: Bairstow might have been dismissed for a duck in the last ODI, but the opener is not a player who loses much on opportunities. His record against Australia and at the venue states that. He has scored runs at an average of 69.4 and a whopping strike rate of 154 in decider matches. His fearlessness is one of the x-factors that comes into consideration and a certain must-have in the fantasy team, though he failed in the last match.
Our Criclytics player projector predicts, Bairstow could score 16-43 runs in the third ODI