The caravan of the Australia tour of England rolls on and we are now down to the final two ODIs of the three-match series.
The second One-day International will be played at the bio-secure Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester on Sunday where the world champions will hope to shrug off the 19-run defeat that they suffered at the hands of the old rival and enforce a decider in the three-match rubber.
Australia would be really happy with their victory on Friday because not only did it come in the absence of one their top-order batsman in Steve Smith, who was ruled out after being hit on the head in the lead-up to the first game but also because, for the first time in a while, their middle-order stood up to the challenge and helped them post an eventual match-winning total of 9-294.
England had got off to a brilliant start to the game after Jofra Archer knocked over David Warner with a snorter of a delivery. Australia soon found themselves reeling at 5-123 but as skipper Eoin Morgan alluded in the post-match interview, the hosts were poor in the middle-overs and that coupled with brilliant knocks from Mitchell Marsh and Glenn Maxwell, allowed the Aussies to storm back into the contest.
Will Australia register their first series win over England since 2015 on Sunday?
A target of 295 was still not a match-winning score against a power-packed batting-unit like England’s but Josh Hazlewood’s near unplayable spell at the top and Adam Zampa’s choke in the middle-overs meant that the hosts were never really in the run-chase, even as Jonny Bairstow and Sam Billings, who scored a brilliant maiden century, did their best to keep them in the hunt.
England have now lost their last two ODIs and another defeat will ensure a series-defeat to Australia for the first time in five years. Eoin Morgan and the team-management would be concerned about the form of Jason Roy and Moeen Ali. Both Roy and Ali have had a difficult summer. And, while in Roy’s case, it can be argued that he is coming off an injury, Moeen Ali has been poor with both bat and ball for some time now. How Morgan and England will hope that the duo return to form on Sunday and hopefully spearhead the series-leveling win.
England vs Australia, 2nd ODI, Manchester: Weather Forecast
According to the weather report on the BBC, it is set to be a bright and sunny day in Manchester on Sunday. The temperatures are set to hover between 13-12 degrees Celsius while the humidity is set to be around 70 percent.