Joe Root has scored just 15 runs in three innings this series. Picture: PA/metro.co.uk
Despite losing the penultimate game of its 50 over series against England by 3 wickets on Saturday, Australia can still salvage something from what has been a miserable tour of the UK when the old rivals meet in the 5th and deciding ODI match at Southampton on Monday night (AEST). With matches at Headingley and Birmingham abandoned without a result, the series is level at 1-1 going into the finale.
England has fielded an unchanged side throughout the series with several big guns being rested following their exertions during the Ashes and is unlikely to tinker with the XI that came good at Cardiff. Michael Carberry rewarded the selectors for their patience with him by scoring 63 at Sophia Gardens and will again partner Kevin Pietersen at the top of the order. Jos Buttler continued his good form with a match-winning innings of 65 from just 48 deliveries in the 4th ODI and could be the finisher that England have been searching for since Eoin Morgan was moved up the order.
While the hosts have a settled side, Australia will be forced to make at least one change at the Rose Bowl with opener Shaun Marsh ruled out with a hamstring strain. Phil Hughes is expected to open the batting after sitting on the sidelines since scoring just two runs in the 2nd Ashes Test at Lords. Michael Clarke is doubtful after a back injury that has plagued him for the past few years flared up again, with Glenn Maxwell the man most likely to replace him should the skipper be ruled out. Limited overs specialist Clint McKay claimed a hat-trick in his 4/39 on the weekend and will again take the new ball with Mitchell Johnson.
Australia has won two of its three One Day Internationals in Southampton, but lost by 4 wickets the last time these sides met here, in 2010. England hasn’t fared well here in recent times however, losing the past two matches it has played at the venue.
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