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Australia have been dominant against England in the first two ODIs
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Australia vs England third ODI preview: England look to avoid whitewash

After being soundly beaten in the first two ODIs, England will be doing all they can to avoid a series whitewash against Australia on Tuesday.

There was always the danger that one of the sides would struggle in this match-up with both having been among the favourites for the recent T20 World Cup, and it has proven to be so for champions England.

Australia eased to a six-wicket win in the opening game on Thursday and backed that up in ruthless fashion by defeating the Three Lions by 72 runs to take an unassailable 2-0 lead with one game to go.

Attention now turns to Melbourne for the third and final instalment of the series with nothing but pride left to play for as far as the tourists are concerned, while Australia will be looking to seal a confidence-boosting whitewash to go some way to making amends for their T20 disappointment.

Given the way the first two matches have played out, it is no surprise to see the Aussies installed as 8/15 favourites to complete a 3-0 sweep at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday, with Matthew Mott's men available at 6/4 to at least sign off the tour with a win.

What: Australia vs England, 3rd ODI
Where: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
When: 03:20 Tuesday, 22nd November 2022
How to watch: BT Sport 1
Odds: Australia 8/15, England 6/4

Ruthless Australia dominating series

The England players may not admit it in public but they have struggled so far to play to the best of their ability, with this series arguably a mere distraction from their T20 heroics earlier this month and their ability to celebrate becoming world champions.

Only Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan and Phil Salt from their five-wicket win over Pakistan in the T20 World Cup final took to the field in the opening loss in Adelaide, and while the likes of Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid and Sam Curran returned in the second, others were again rested so England have hardly been desperate to go for the win.

The argument could be that they are testing their options ahead of the next 50-over World Cup but that may be bending the truth with Moeen having already admitted that the timing of this series was "horrible".

Take nothing away from Australia though as they have been thoroughly determined to make up for the disappointment of both hosts and defending champions to have failed to progress past the Super 12 group stage.

And make up for it, in some part, they have deservedly done as they have bossed proceedings against the current 50-over world champions to go 2-0 up with contributions coming down their line-up.

Pat Cummins and Adam Zampa took wickets in the first ODI success before David Warner, Travis Head and Steve Smith broke the back of the run chase, before the latter helped lay the platform for their competitive target in the second, aided by Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Marsh, before Zampa and Mitchell Starc ensured England fell well short in the second.

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The Three Lions' cause has not been helped by their top-order failure, slipping to 31-3 inside the powerplay in Adelaide, while they were 0-2 in the first over in Sydney and lost a third wicket in the sixth over in another failed attempt to make a fast start.

There have been some positives with Dawid Malan's 134 an undoubted highlight in the opening loss - where would England have been without that innings as number nine David Willey's 34 was the next best score - while James Vince and Sam Billings both hit half-centuries in the second.

Still, as an 11, Australia have so far been head and shoulders above their counterparts and it would be a brave call to back against the hosts repeating their success in Tuesday's finale.

Tried and trusted offer value for hosts

With scores of 94 and 80 not out so far, there looks to be some value in backing the perennial thorn in England's side, Smith, to top score again for Australia at the MCG on Tuesday.

David Warner did outscore the former captain in Adelaide but disappointed with 16 on Saturday, while the ever-consistent Smith was unfortunate to be denied a 13th ODI century.

With the Ashes looming in the not-too-distant future, Smith's form is looking a little ominous for England and although he was less free-scoring in the second ODI, the fact that he never looked like getting out until trying to bring up three figures will already have England worried about next summer.

Warner may lead the market to finish as Australia's top batter at 3/1, but Smith looks to be near the peak of his powers and is well worth considering at 10/3.

Zampa has yet to finish as the outright top bowler in either match so far but his figures have not been beaten, returning 3-55 in the opener before taking 4-45 to finish off England on Saturday.

The leg-spinner finds himself third in the betting at 7/2 but is certainly one for the shortlist with market leaders Josh Hazlewood (5/2) and Mitchell Starc (11/4) not necessarily guaranteed to start with the hosts already having secured the series.

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