Key events

A bit more drizzle at the gorund, so the hessian is going back on. This should pass quickly, the sky is bright. The ground announcer is still getting very pumped up announcing all of the players. “Number 33, Mah-nus Lllllllaba-shane!”

Teams

Starc goes out for Hazlewood under the rotation policy. Ashton Agar is replaced after playing well for Abbott’s first match of the series. Stoinis and Marsh stay in rather than Cameron Green. England go with one spinner in Dawson as Stone comes back for Adil Rashid. Moeen Ali makes way for Buttler to return as captain.

Australia
David Warner
Travis Head
Steve Smith
Marnus Labuschagne
Alex Carey +
Mitchell Marsh
Marcus Stoinis
Sean Abbott
Pat Cummins *
Adam Zampa
Josh Hazlewood

England
Phil Salt
Jason Roy
Dawid Malan
James Vince
Sam Billings
Jos Buttler * +
Chris Woakes
Sam Curran
Liam Dawson
David Willey
Olly Stone

England win the toss and bowl

The visitors chased in the second match and couldn’t get there, despite good innings from James Vince and Sam Billings. Mitchell Starc was back on song, taking four wickets as did Adam Zampa. England will choose to chase again though, on what historically would be a good batting track at the G, but in the last two or three years has been a lively bowling surface. Matt Page the head curator has done wonders here. Interested to see what he serves up for a one-dayer.

As far as excitement goes, this is the third match in a decided series, it was raining up until a few minutes ago, and I can tell you from recently entering the ground that there is not a torrent of eager Melburnians flocking to this game. So far the seating bowl looks about the same as a healthy Sheffield Shield crowd.

Preamble

Geoff Lemon

Geoff Lemon

Here we go for one more time. The third instalment in… well, is it fair to say the least popular ODI series ever? There have been series between smaller teams with fewer people in attendance and smaller television audience, but there’s a difference between being ignored and having active antipathy towards matches actually existing.

That’s not for everybody, of course: plenty of the players in these matches have a point to make and the opportunity to do so. Not everybody is comfortably ensconced in the England squad with multiple World Cup medals. Nor do the Australians know exactly how they want to structure their team ahead of next year’s Cup, without a whole lot of runway left.

Anyway, it’s cricket, we like it, I’m watching it, you’re reading about it, so perhaps we should just enjoy it?

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