Time: February 8, 4:35 AM IST
Venue: Junction Oval, Melbourne
Although the pitch seemed a bit tricky, it was England’s sluggish batting that brought their downfall. Australia too made a mockery of the chase, but a top-class performance from Ellyse Perry put England in further trouble.
Given the nature of the wicket, both captains will look to bowl first.
Probable XI for Australia: Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Meg Lanning (c), Ellyse Perry, Tahlia McGrath, Ashleigh Gardner, Annabel Sutherland, Nicola Carey/ Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Megan Schutt
Probable XI for England: Lauren Winfield Hill, Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight (c), Natalie Sciver, Amy Ellen Jones (wk), Sophia Dunkley, Danielle Wyatt, Charlotte Dean/Katherine Brunt, Sophie Ecclestone, Kate Cross, Anya Shrubsole
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
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91 runs and 3 for 26 in the first T20I, 88 runs and 2 wickets in the only Test, 29 runs and 2 for 34 in the first ODI, and 19 runs and 3 for 4 in the second ODI: these are neither Ellyse Perry’s numbers nor Nat Sciver’s. Tahlia McGrath seems like an ever-evolving cricketer.
Katherine Brunt picked up 3 for 40 and later complemented it with a fighting knock of 32* off 46 in the first ODI. The slow wickets in Australia have scaled up the demand for all-rounders in fantasy cricket, and Brunt is one of them.
The only half-centurion, Beth Mooney, may be back for the final ODI after suffering
quad tightness in the opening game. In an innings that saw no Australian surpass 30 runs, Mooney managed 73 off 91. Against England, she averages 47.7.
Ellyse Perry was adjudged Player of the Match for taking 3 for 12 and scoring 40 off 64 on Sunday. Had it not been for her resilience at No. 4, Australia would have stared down the barrel in what was a paltry chase. Safe to say that she has returned to form.
Sophie Ecclestone, a no. 9 batter, was the highest run-scorer (32* off 65) for England on Sunday. With the ball, she conceded a mere 20 runs in 10 overs but without taking a wicket.
After a spectacular knock of 168 in the only Test, Heather Knight has managed scores of 0 and 18. She now has been dismissed three consecutive times on the tour. Australia surely have done their homework.
England’s star batter Tammy Beaumont too has been out of sorts. She has scored in single digits in 4 of her last 5 innings of the series. The same has been the case with Alyssa Healy: although she got starts in both ODIs, she hasn’t been at her devastating best. Perhaps, the slow pitches in Australia have been tough on the batters.
Kate Cross dismissed Meg Lanning in both matches, and is the highest wicket-taker for England in the series.
England have already lost The Ashes and have nothing to play for. However, both teams will make strategies keeping the World Cup in mind, probably making changes in the playing XI and testing their bench strength.
That being said, make sure you pick as many all-rounders as you can, as the pitches in the Australian summer have been producing thrilling games.