Melbourne: In their final home match of this Trans-Tasman triangular Twenty20 International series, against England in Melbourne, Australia will look to more or less seal their place in the final.
They have so far coasted to victories in their first two matches, first seeing off New Zealand by seven wickets on the DLS method in Sydney and following it up with a five-wicket triumph over England in Hobart. That they have done all this without a number of first-team regulars only adds to their aura.
Glenn Maxwell has symbolised it. His unbeaten 24-ball 40 helped Australia recover from 10/2 in a small chase of 95 in the first game.
Australia played Travis Head in place of Adam Zampa in Hobart to lengthen their batting order, and this again seems the most likely selection permutation for a team that has now won three T20 matches in a row. Aaron Finch is still to make his return from a hamstring strain, while the NSW left-armer Ben Dwarshuis is the other member of the squad.
And it was his all-round show against England that really signalled his status in this relatively inexperienced side. He returned 3/10, seeing off Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan and David Willey, before hammering an unbeaten 103 off just 58 balls – the sort of knock that comes about when Maxwell is at his best.
England are up against an in-form side showing no obvious signs of weakness. David Warner, standing in as captain, has struggled for form, but the likes of Maxwell, Chris Lynn and Marcus Stoinis add a certain violence to the batting, while the likes of Billy Stanlake, Andrew Tye, Kane Richardson and Ashton Agar form a bowling attack that has so far restricted New Zealand and England to 117/9 and 155/5 respectively.
England came into the tri-series on the back of their comprehensive 4-1 win over Australia in the One-Day International series, but some of that momentum was drained after their loss in Hobart.
England are themselves playing with a somewhat weakened outfit – Joe Root, Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes are all missing – but there is still enough quality within the squad.
England will consider recalling Liam Dawson's spin after Adil Rashid proved a difficult proposition for the Australians at Bellerive Oval.
Australia: David Warner (capt), Aaron Finch (vice-capt), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey (wk), Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.
Pirch and conditions
The MCG pitch typically has decent bounce, and it is expected to have plenty of runs in it. Forecast suggests scattered showers on Saturday, though, and whether that will swing this clash the way of the bowlers remains to be seen.
Stats and trivia
Australia have won both their previous T20 encounters against England at the MCG.
Saturday February 10, 2018
Start time: 19:20 local (08:20 GMT)