England has never lost a bilateral one-day international series at home since September 2015. On Wednesday, they will take on Australia in the third and final game at the Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester. Right now, the series is standing at 1-1.
World champions England will be eager to defend their five-year unbeaten record when they take the field against the Kangaroos.
In a recent interview, all-rounder Chris Woakes said, "To have not lost one in that time is an incredible achievement. We want to keep that [five-year record] going, but more importantly, we want to win this specific series. The fact we have actually got some cricket on this summer is a bonus. As a team, to have performed the way we have, in the environment we are in, it's had its tough times. But the team has pulled together and played some really good cricket."
Woakes played an instrumental role during the second match against Australia. The visitors were chasing a mere 232 to win the series 2-0. But eventually, they collapsed from 144-2 to 207 all out. It was one of the worst batting collapses that the five-time world champions have witnessed in years. Australia aren't at their best since their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 exit.
The 31-year old all-rounder finished the game with 3-32 and broke the crucial 107-run partnership between Marnus Labuschagne and Aaron Finch, which in turn helped England to march towards victory. Australia had won the first ODI by 19 runs.
Following the lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, England played three home series before facing the Aussies. Their opponents were West Indies, Ireland, and Pakistan. The English players have been living in a bio-secure bubble since July.
So far in 2020, they are yet to lose a series across all formats. Wednesday's ODI is England's last assignment during their home summer campaign.
Australian batsman Steve Smith missed the first two games, but he was seen in the nets before the series decider. Last week, Smith was struck on his head during practice and was left out of the side due to a concussion. According to BBC, Aussie head coach Justin Langer said Smith is "tracking in the right direction." This means he would be available on Wednesday.