File photo of England batsman Jos Butler. (Getty Images)
Michael Clarke was as happy as a cheshire cat at the end of the second ODI - collecting a win and his maiden ODI century against England en route a 1-0 lead over the traditional rivals. But England seem in no mood to stop experimenting in fear of another failure in Birmingham on Wednesday.
Other than winning the toss, nothing went in favour of home skipper Eoin Morgan in the second ODI, which Australia pocketed by 88 runs, exposing the experimental squad the hosts have opted for this series. The experiment has so far worked so-so.
Michael Carberry and Ben Stokes looked underprepared at Old Trafford while Boyd Rankin took to England colours like fish to water and Jos Buttler added strength to his promise with a long innings. Australia took advantage of that half-cooked English performance to get their second win of the tour.
But England seem to have no doubt whatsoever about the make-up of their side, though they have options available, the most tempting of which is rest Root and give an international debut to Sussex pacer Chris Jordan, who can bat too.
In the Australian camp, it seems self-belief returns in limited-overs cricket. That showed in the way the experienced duo of Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson and short-format specialist George Bailey went about their business. Clarke scored 105, Bailey 82 and Johnson rounded that off with neat figures of 2 for 36 in 10 overs. With Mitchell Starc in serious doubt for the return Ashes in Australia later this year, Johnson can assure himself of a place by breathing some fire the rest of this series.
Thus, an overall settled look should lead to an unchanged Aussie eleven.
Clarke and Morgan would not want to recall the washed-out first ODI, and forecast of rain in the day-night encounter at Edgbaston won't please them one bit. And if the rain gods decide to spare this game, then it could be a slow-bowlers' day on a likely dry surface favouring spin.
England: 1 Michael Carberry, 2 Kevin Pietersen, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ravi Bopara, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Ben Stokes, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Boyd Rankin, 11 Steven Finn
Australia: 1 Aaron Finch, 2 Shaun Marsh, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Michael Clarke (capt), 5 George Bailey, 6 Adam Voges, 7 Matthew Wade (wk), 8 James Faulkner, 9 Mitchell Johnson, 10 Clint McKay, 11 Fawad Ahmed