England are sweating on the fitness of skipper Eoin Morgan for the remainder of the Twenty20 tri-series after losing to Australia by seven wickets in Melbourne.

Morgan was a late omission for Saturday night's match at the MCG after straining his right groin at training on Friday.

His side struggled in his absence, setting Australia a target of 138 which they achieved with 27 balls to spare.

The injury could prove to be a major blow for England with stand-in skipper Jos Buttler admitting he was unsure whether Morgan would be available for the New Zealand leg of the series, starting with a clash against the Black Caps tomorrow.


"He got a little niggle yesterday in training," Buttler said. "I don't think we quite know the extent of it yet so we'll wait and find out."

Buttler top-scored for England with 46 but was unable to break the shackles imposed by Australia's disciplined bowling attack.

England's risky batting approach was again exposed with aggressive openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales both falling cheaply.

The unbeaten Australians are now assured of a spot in the February 21 final in Auckland after downing England by five wickets in Hobart and beating New Zealand in the series opener.

England will face New Zealand in Wellington tomorrow and again in Hamilton the following Sunday requiring victory in at least one of those games to ensure they make the final.

"That's the beauty of a tri-series. We still have a chance to make that final," Buttler said.

"We obviously go to New Zealand now. It'll be a nice change of scene, I think, for the England side.

"We haven't showcased our ability as we know we can yet and there's guys in that dressing room who'll be determined to come back strong."