David Warner will miss tonight’s third Dettol T20I against England in Canberra with neck soreness as Australia put their superstar opener on ice ahead of their T20 World Cup title defence.
Warner fell heavily attempting an outfield catch in Wednesday’s second match of the series and while he passed a concussion test to open the batting later in the chase, he reported neck soreness following the eight-run loss.
Australia have recalled Steve Smith after he was left out of the first two games of the series but the out-of-sorts Glenn Maxwell will open the batting alongside Finch as the hosts look to avoid a series sweep.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch (c), Glenn Maxwell, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Adam Zampa, Josh Hazlewood
England XI: Jos Buttler (c) (wk), Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley
Skipper Finch won the toss for the third time in the series and elected to bowl first in his 100th T20 international tonight as he becomes the first men’s player to achieve the feat for Australia.
Finch is the only Australian batter to have scored more than 3000 T20I runs and has been one of the nation’s most consistent performers with his average of 34.23 second only to Mike Hussey in the men’s game.
Smith will bat in the middle-order tonight and will be out to prove to selectors he can play a valuable role in the World Cup alongside power-hitters Mitch Marsh, Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David and Matthew Wade.
There was again no room in the XI for spinning allrounder Ashton Agar who has regained full fitness after injuring his side during the ODI series against Zimbabwe in Townsville, with Australia again deploying a full-strength bowling line-up of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa and Josh Hazlewood.
‘Always a step ahead’: Players hail Finch the leader
Agar was also available for selection for Wednesday’s second T20I and bowled extensively in the nets ahead of the Canberra leg of the series.
Speedster Mark Wood has returned to the England XI after being rested for Wednesday second T20I.
Wood has played just three of England’s past nine T20Is as they manage his return from an elbow operation injury in July but has still reached speeds in excess of 150kph in the lead up to the World Cup.
Chris Woakes has also returned to the side with Sam Curran, who sealed England’s victories in the first two T20Is with clutch final overs in both matches, and Chris Jordan both rested.
Australia will play have a final hit out before the World Cup against India at the Gabba on Monday, while England will play Pakistan at the same venue later in the day.
Men’s Dettol T20I Series v England
Australia squad (first T20I): Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchel Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner
Australia squad (second and third T20Is): Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Pat Cummins, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa
England squad: Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Phil Salt, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
First T20: England won by eight runs
Second T20: England won by eight runs
Third T20, Friday Oct 14: Manuka Oval, Canberra 7:10pm AEDT