Eng vs Aus 3rd ODI: England bat first, no Smith for Australia (Toss)

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Manchester, Sep 16 (IANS) England won the toss and chose to bat first in the decisive third ODI against Australia here on Wednesday.

The visitors have chosen to keep talismanic batsman Steve Smith out of the squad after he took a blow to the head during a practice session ahead of the first ODI.

Smith has thus missed out on the entire three-match ODI series and captain Aaron Finch said that the team is being “ultra-conservative and cautious” with him.

Australia have gone with the same team they used in the first two ODIs. “We would have batted first, but when the lights come on, it can skid through,” said Finch.

“(Smith) had a long hit and didn’t pull up well, just a bit groggy. We’ve been ultra-conservative and cautious,” he said.

England meanwhile have decided to drop all-rounder Sam Curran, who took three wickets in their series-levelling win in the second ODI. “Sam is extremely good, young, versatile all-rounder, hard to take,” said England captain Eoin Morgan on dropping Curran.

“It’s important to continue building towards the next World Cup. We are playing against a really strong Australian side. Our thanks go out to all teams who came over here, a leap of faith, and the structure and planning from the ECB.”

England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood.

Australia: David Warner, Aaron Finch (captain), Marcus Stoinis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Glenn Maxwell, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood