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AUS vs ENG, 2nd ODI, Preview: Depleted Australia aim to level the series at the Gabba

England lead the series 1-0 and would want to double it by winning the second game.

Steve Smith | CricTracker.com
Australia team (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Australia and England will lock horns at the iconic Gabba in Brisbane in the second of the five-match ODI series on Friday. After a disappointing Ashes series, a much dominant outfit of the visitors in the limited overs format defeated the hosts in the first match. The home side would want to level the series after a not so impressive show in Melbourne. However, Eoin Morgan led side would love to extend their dominion as the teams prepare to build the team for the World Cup next year.

Steve Smith endured a rare failure at home after a dream Test series which helped Australia regain the urn. Even David Warner is going through a rough period as Aaron Finch and the middle-order heroics propelled the hosts past 300 in the opening game of the series. They would now need their big guns to fire which will make them a dangerous side as the Kangaroos aim to make a comeback into the series.

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Moreover, the woes for them have increased with Josh Hazlewood being ruled out of the series due to untimely illness. Mitchell Starc will have to be at his best in his absence as he looked out of touch at the MCG.

England, on the other hand, are suddenly the favourites to win the series after thumping their arch-rivals on the back of a stupendous knock from Roy. They didn’t even miss their premier all-rounder Ben Stokes as the bowling attack led by Mark Wood did a decent job for them. The Test skipper Joe Root is also looking in great form after playing second fiddle to the opener. Morgan will be pleased with the way the things have panned out so far and would hope to continue in the same vein throughout the series.

Playing Combination

Australia

The batting order looks settled for the hosts with Finch and Warner opening the innings followed by Steve Smith and Travis Head. The problem lies in the bowling attack with Pat Cummins being rested for the second game and Hazlewood already ruled out. Jhye Richardson is set to make his debut as he will assist Starc with the new ball as Andrew Tye completes the pace attack. Adam Zampa is expected to retain his place despite a poor outing in the first match.

Alex Carey was called up as cover for the wicket-keeper Tim Paine who was down with illness ahead of the crucial encounter. Though he is expected to be up and running in time with the youngster having to wait for his debut.

Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch, Steve Smith (c), Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Tim Paine/Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa

England

England are likely to go unchanged after such a stunning performance which helped them take the lead in the five-match series. The openers Roy and Bairstow will look to provide a breezy start again with Alex Hales, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan forming a solid middle-order line-up. Jos Butter and Moeen Ali are the perfect finishers they’ve got in this format. Adil Rashid bowled beautifully and picked important wickets in the first game. He will look to spin the web again around the batsmen in Brisbane.

The pace trio comprising of Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett and Mark Wood will aim not to leak the runs in the death and keep a lid on the run-scoring.

Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid

Focus will be on

David Warner (Australia)

David Warner’s willow has gone quite which is a rare sight in the Aussie summer. He generally pummels the bowlers with utter disdain at the top making things tough for the opposition captain. But he has looked uncharacteristically out of touch so far. Even Warner would be aware that he is lacking runs at the top of the order and needs to start scoring soon. His job is to provide Australia with a blitzkrieg in the powerplay overs after which they have enough batsmen to carry on in the same momentum.

Alex Hales (England)

Alex Hales was in the news for all the wrong reasons recently as he was with Ben Stokes during the ugly brawl that took place in Bristol a few months ago. He lost his place to Jonny Bairstow who cemented the opening slot. He batted at number 3 in the first game and needs to be amongst the runs soon to avoid being dropped from the side. If he gets going in Brisbane, then England are set to double their lead. But if he fails once again, Sam Billings might replace him for the upcoming ODIs of the series.

Keep following CricTracker for more analysis on Australia vs England series.

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