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ODI tri-series: Aussies eye final berth as they take on England

Its three key players, including skipper George Bailey, would be missing in action but the Australian cricket team would look to seal a place in the ODI tri-series final when it clashes with a confident England, on Friday.

The hosts are placed comfortably at top with two wins from as many matches but their lineup will be without Bailey, who has been suspended for the team’s slow over rate, all-rounder Shane Watson and David Warner — due to hamstring issues.

England had lost to Australia in the opening match but the British side outplayed India in the next game and will surely fancy its chances against the hosts.

One more win will ensure Australia’s passage into the February 1 final in Perth and stand-in skipper Steven Smith would look to carry forward his impressive Test leadership to this format too.

A victory for England will make it wide open and then all three teams will have a chance to make the summit clash.

Australia were dominant against England in the first match and also for a major part of the contest against India, thanks to impressive show by their batsmen as well as bowlers.

However, England looked much better and competitive against India and the Britons would believe that they can exploit the absence of regular members of the squad.

Left-hander Shaun Marsh will replace Warner at the top and Cameron White also comes into the side. There is no doubt about Marsh’s skills as a top-order batsman and England bowlers will have to work hard to get him.

It remains to be seen if Mitchell Marsh is also drafted into the side.

For England, their batsmen struck form in the second match against India but in that contest they were under no pressure, chasing a mere 154.

Their bowlers, led by Steven Finn, though were impressive as they blew away a strong Indian batting line up. The Australians are best accustomed to play on the bouncy tracks in home conditions so it won’t be easy for the England bowlers.

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