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Tri-series: Depleted Australia take on England with eye on final

Last updated on: January 22, 2015 14:57 IST

Tim Bresnan of England plays touch rugby with Chris Woakes during a nets session at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Thursday

Tim Bresnan of England plays touch rugby with Chris Woakes during a nets session at Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Australia will miss captain George Bailey in Friday's One-Day International, but their focus will be on sealing a place in the tri-series final.

The hosts are placed comfortably at the top with two victories from as many matches, but their line-up will be without Bailey, who is suspended following the team's slow over rate, and all-rounder Shane Watson and David Warner, both due to hamstring issues.

- Tri-series Points Table

England lost to Australia in the opening match, but then outplayed India in the next and surely fancy their chances against the hosts.

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

Steven Finn of England celebrates with teammates after dismissing Axar Patel of India at The Gabba on Tuesday

Steven Finn of England celebrates with teammates after dismissing Axar Patel of India at The Gabba on Tuesday. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

A victory for England will throw the tournament 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 after an impressive all-round show.

However, England looked a much better outfit against India and the Britons would believe that they can exploit the absence of regular members of Australia's squad.

England's batsmen struck form against India but it was a lopsided contest where they were under no pressure, chasing a mere 154 for victory.

Their bowlers, led by Steven Finn, though, were impressive as they blew away the strong Indian batting.

The Australians are best accustomed to play on the bouncy tracks in home conditions so it won't be easy for the England bowlers.

Finn was exceptional against India and he single-handedly triggered the batting collapse with his maiden fifer. The performance would inspire him to yet again bowl England to a winning position.

Steven Smith and Darren Lehmann the coach of Australia look on during an Australian training session

Steven Smith and Darren Lehmann, coach of Australia, look on during an Australian training session. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Moeen Ali, though, can pose a few questions to Australians, who indeed looked in trouble while facing the Indian spinners.

Ali did extremely well against the Indians, who are masters of playing spin, and the off-spinner will pose a good challenge to the home batsmen.

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 will be drafted into the side.

Matched evenly on paper, the two Ashes rivals are set to deliver a crackling contest.

Teams (from):

Australia: George Bailey (captain), Steve Smith, Pat Cummins, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, David Warner, Shane Watson, Gurinder Sandhu.

England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Joe Root, James Taylor, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.

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