England v Australia, 3rd ODI, Manchester
Our XI: Jonny Bairstow, David Warner, Jos Buttler, Sam Billings, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Chris Woakes, Josh Hazlewood, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Adam Zampa
Substitutes: Steven Smith, Jason Roy, Eoin Morgan, Aaron Finch
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so keep an eye on team news at the toss before making your final picks.
Captain: Adam Zampa
It’s moderately risky to select a bowler as a captain in an ODI, just in case he takes no wickets, but Zampa’s form in the ODI series merits it a risk worth taking. He has taken seven wickets in two matches, including a four-for, and he is Australia’s No. 1 attacking option with the ball. His strike rate of 17.1 in the series at an average of 13 makes him an attractive pick. There have been no standout batsman in the series so far, so why not go with the standout bowler?
Vice-captain: Jofra Archer
Two three-wicket hauls in two games, including a Player-of-the-Match performance in the second ODI, makes Archer a very reliable pick when there isn’t a proper, consistent batsman to look at. He’s England’s highest wicket-taker this series, bowls with the new ball and at the death, which are periods where you can fetch plenty of wickets.
David Warner: For a man who averaged 71.89 at the 2019 ODI World Cup held in England, it’s only a matter of time that the Australia opener will come good. He’s got single-digit scores in the first two ODIs, and considering the law of averages, you’d like to have him around when he gets a big one. If he can get past the new-ball spell from Archer, who has dismissed him seven times in ten ODIs, Warner could get lots of runs.
Glenn Maxwell: Maxwell’s aggressive 77 in the first ODI showed why he’s such a good white-ball cricketer. He bats in the middle overs when fewer wickets typically fall. Plus points with his offspin.
Jonny Bairstow: An 84 in the first ODI showed how well Bairstow can adjust to difficult batting conditions. We’re ignoring the duck in the second ODI, and if you have to select just one England opener, he is more reliable than Jason Roy.
Marnus Labuschagne: Bats at No. 4 for Australia, which is perfect to anchor the innings. Labuschagne has averaged 34.50 in the series, and will look to end on a high. His handy wristspin could also come into play if Australia captain Aaron Finch notices turn for his regular spinners.
Sam Billings: The only centurion in the ODI series will be looking to put in another performance that gives him the headlines, especially since he’s always battling for a permanent spot in the XI. His 118 in the first ODI showed how well he plays both pace and spin.
Point to note
Steven Smith was injured and didn’t play the first two ODIs. If he is fit, you should definitely consider him in the XI. For now, we’ve kept in the substitutes.
If the pitch report on ESPNcricinfo’s commentary section on match day suggests it will be a belter, then you can switch out the aggressive captaincy choice of Zampa for a top-order batsman, or get in an extra batsman like Finch or Joe Root instead of a bowler in the XI.