Sam Curran not playing: The English all-rounder has been benched for the series decider despite an impressive performance in the last match.

During the third ODI of the ongoing Australia’s tour of England in Manchester, Australia have once again decided to rest premier batsman Steve Smith. The development means that the right-hand batsman won’t be able to take any part in the three-match ODI series in England.

Much like head coach Justin Langer, Australia captain Aaron Finch also opened up on Smith not being in the best of shapes when it comes to batting in the news before this match.

“He [Steve Smith] had a long hit and didn’t pull up well, just a bit groggy. We’ve been ultra-conservative and cautious,” Finch was quoted as saying about Smith during the toss.

Why is Sam Curran not playing today’s third ODI?

While Australia didn’t make any change to their squad from the previous ODI, hosts England have made a solitary change despite coming on the back of an emphatic victory.

It is worth mentioning that England have included fast bowler Mark Wood in place of Sam Curran for this match. Curran, who registered bowling figures of 9-0-35-3 in a praiseworthy spell in the last match, is surely unfortunate to sit out today.

Speaking during the toss, England captain Eoin Morgan considered the change to be a “tough call”. “We think it’s a good wicket, short boundary on one side. Mark Wood comes in for Sam Curran. Sam is extremely good, young, versatile all-rounder, hard to take,” Morgan said about Curran’s omission.

With the third ODI being played on a fresh wicket contrary to the second one, England have opted for the express pace of Wood in place of Curran’s medium-fast bowling to get more from the surface.

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