On Sunday, England sealed the series by winning the second T20 international in Southampton with six wickets to spare. Australia set England a tricky 158 to chase, which the hosts chased down successfully despite a minor wobble. Keeper-batsman Jos Buttler finished with an unbeaten 77, having opened the innings along with Jonny Bairstow.
Dawid Malan, who scored 66 in the first game to secure the man of the match award, made 42 on Sunday and shared a partnership of 87 for the second wicket. It set the platform for the hosts in pursuit of 158 by playing some very risk-free shots. The Englishmen would be looking forward towards completing a whitewash that will also ensure their number one ranking in T20 internationals, toppling Australia.
We take a look at England’s predicted XI for the third T20 international against Australia:
Now that England have the series in their grasp, they could promote Tom Banton back to the top of the order. Tom Banton provided explosive starts against Pakistan to their side and could realise Banton’s potential at the opening spot only.
The youngster has batted in the middle-order in the two games and made scores of 8 and 2 respectively. Hence, they could promote Banton and could see yet another glittering knock off his bat.
Jonny Bairstow (wk):
With Jos Buttler set to miss the third T20 international, Jonny Bairstow has to anchor the innings along with Tom Banton at the top. Jonny Bairstow has not yet clicked in the series; however, there remains little doubt he is a player of massive potential.
Hence, Bairstow must take the opportunity and put up a big score before the ODI series.
Dawid Malan has seized the opportunity with both hands in the absence of Jason Roy and Ben Stokes. Not only has Malan played the big shots when needed but also steadied the innings like in the first game. The southpaw should certainly retain his spot and will look to sign off on a high.
Eoin Morgan (c):
The English skipper suffered a finger injury in the first innings while fielding at short cover; however, came back after a while and even batted. While Eoin Morgan has shone as captain, he has had only single-figure scores so far. The southpaw would be eager to get a compelling score under his belt.
The absence of Jos Buttler could pave the way for Sam Billings, who proved his potential during the ODI series against Ireland. The management is most likely to blood him in the middle-order, which could book his berth for the three-match ODI series too.
Moeen Ali’s role with the bat was as crucial as Jos Buttler in the second T20I. With 17 required off 11 deliveries, Moeen Ali smashed a six and four to take the pressure off Buttler. While the southpaw has shown glimpses of returning to form with the bat, he could also do the same gradually with the ball.
Tom Curran bowled the best in the first T20 international, defending 15 runs in the final over; however, proved a tad expensive in the second and went wicketless. He bowled three overs and conceded 25 runs, giving away two sixes and a boundary. However, Curran will most likely retain his place for the final match.
Chris Jordan was the pick of the bowlers in the second T20 international but also England’s most expensive of the lot. He provided the vital breakthrough of Aaron Finch, just when it appeared when the Australian captain was about to cut loose.
Jordan returned in the 19th over to remove Glenn Maxwell, who was also threatening an onslaught of his own at the death. The right-arm seamer finished with figures of 4-0-40-2 and remains only three wickets away from overtaking Stuart Broad as the leading wicket-taker in T20Is.
Adil Rashid picked the sole wicket of Marcus Stoinis in the second T20I, finishing with figures of 4-0-25-1. It was also the second successive time that Adil Rashid bagged a scalp in the final ball of his spell. With Moeen not bowling much, England depend on the veteran leggie to fulfil the spin duties.
Jofra Archer spit fire from the get-go, dismissing David Warner in only the third ball of the innings. However, Archer conceded 18 runs in the final over during which Australia got past 150 through Pat Cummins’ boundaries. He ended with figures of 4-0-32-1, giving away two sixes and a four.
If Jofra Archer struck in the first over, his new-ball bowling partner Mark Wood made a breakthrough in the second. Australian keeper-batsman Alex Carey became the victim of Wood for the second time in the series as he edged the ball to the keeper while trying to go over the top. The England speedster finished with figures of 4-0-25-1.