Austalia’s problem has been solved for the final T20 International with in-form England batsman Jos Buttler ruled out of the match for family reasons.
Australia had spoken about changing their plans for Buttler after the second defeat, revealing their level of concern about him at the top of the order.
The right-handed wicketkeeper-batsman, who turned 30 on Tuesday, has been in the bio-secure bubble for the past 10 weeks, competing in England’s Tests against Pakistan and the West Indies.
An ECB statement read: “England batsman Jos Buttler left the bio-secure bubble yesterday evening following the teams victory over Australia to be with his family. He will miss England’s final Vitality IT20 against Australia on Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl.
“Buttler, subject to testing, will return to the bio-secure bubble on Thursday ahead of the first ODI of the Royal London Series at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday.”
Buttler’s absence will force a re-shuffle with Jonny Bairstow or Sam Billings likely to take the gloves for Tuesday’s match.
If Bairstow gets the nod, Billings will battle with Liam Livingstone and Joe Denly for a batting slot, while Tom Banton or Dawid Malan could also be elevated to open.
The world number one T20 ranking is up for grabs in the final T20I, despite England having already claimed the series win 2-0.
Australian all-rounder Ashton Agar said: “We certainly take a lot of pride in being the No.1 ranked team in the world.
“It’s a great feeling and it’s nice walking out knowing that and it’s nice to look around the room knowing you’re a part of that. It’s a lovely team to be a part of and it’s a lot of fun.
“That will spur us on, but really we just want to win whatever game that’s in front of us at that time.”