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HomeAshes3rd Ashes Test Preview: Australia v England

3rd Ashes Test Preview: Australia v England

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

The 3rd Test of this series will be the last ever Test at the WACA in Perth, and last chance for England to keep their Ashes hopes alive.

England have embarrassed themselves off the field in recent times, with more high school like behaviour from their players. Joe Root, instead of being a cricket captain, must be thinking he is the principal of a school gone wild, with students distracted from the task at hand. Cutting a frustrated figure, Joe Root has reminded his team that they need to produce “the game of their lives”.

Their on-field performances in the Ashes aren’t much of an improvement on their off-field struggles. To be fair, the Australian side they are playing is far from invincible. This Australian side has plenty of flaws that England just haven’t been good enough to exploit.

Joe Root’s decision to bowl first in Adelaide immediately cried out “we’re taking the safe option”. I say this with confidence looking at England’s length in the first innings – they were way too short and it was terrible to see. They got it right in the second innings, but the game was as good as gone by then.

England resorted to plenty of chat in the 2nd Test, but didn’t work.

Perth represents their last chance to keep their Ashes hopes alive. In this Test, every decision and move England make simply has to be right. The fade outs we’ve seen in Brisbane and Adelaide can’t be repeated. Jonny Bairstow has successfully been head-butted moved up the order. The seamers need to pitch the ball up straight away, and England’s top order needs to really go big. To keep the Ashes alive, England only need to break a run of seven straight Test losses in Australia and a winless run in Perth stretching back to 1986. No pressure….

What about Australia? Does Mitchell Marsh have something on Darren Lehmann that can’t out to the public? An interesting selection to say the least, and despite a good run of form in Shield cricket, England certainly won’t mind seeing Marsh in the line up at 5 or 6. If Australia are 3 down for not many, will they be confident in Marsh’s ability to dig them out of a hole? Batting is the main reason he has been selected  – Australia’s bowlers have showed no signs that they are struggling with four bowlers and the weather in Perth isn’t expected to be too hot over the five days.

Can Mitchell Marsh transfer his Shield form to the Test arena?

Australia’s batting will be under the spotlight again after a second innings capitulation that gave England hope of a stunning comeback win. With a return to the red ball, and Perth’s Test tracks in recent years being quite flat, I expect Australia’s batsmen to get back into form pretty quickly. Also, in Perth, Australia’s pace advantage over England’s bowlers will count for plenty.

Key to an Australia win

Get ahead on days one and two.
Put simply – England’s best chance of victory is if they play from in front. Australia would love nothing more than to put England on the back foot straight away in a do-or-die game for the Poms.
Bat first? Big first innings runs on offer against an attack that thrives on slower, seaming conditions.
Bowl first? Target England with pace and bounce…

Key to an England win

There is more chance of snow falling in Perth than this happening, but you never know.
England’s key to victory is more from Alastair Cook and Joe Root. Cook will play his 150th Test, an amazing achievement and will be keen to keep a few unfair critics quiet, namely the man who will be in the commentary box, Kevin Pietersen. Joe Root needs a century – his conversion rate is the worst our of the “big four” and there is no better time than now to improve on it.

Predicted teams:

For Australia, expect to see Mitchell Marsh replace Peter Handscomb, who has predictably found England’s attack difficult with his technique. Should be no changes otherwise.
Australia XI: 1 Cameron Bancroft, 2 David Warner, 3 Usman Khawaja, 4 Steve Smith (c), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Tim Paine (wk), 8 Patrick Cummins, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Josh Hazlewood, 11 Nathan Lyon
For England, should Craig Overton play? Despite his decent effort in Adelaide, England need some pace in Perth, but it looks like he’ll be persisted with… and finally, Jonny Bairstow will make a move up the order.
England XI: 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Mark Stoneman, 3 James Vince, 4 Joe Root (c), 5 Dawid Malan, 6 Jonny Bairstow, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Craig Overton, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson

Stats & Facts:

  • England’s last Test win at the WACA came in 1978, and since 1986, they’ve lost every Test there.
  • Alastair Cook will become the first player from England, and eighth in Test history, to play 150 Tests. The criticism from Kevin Pietersen, calling Cook to retire, is unfair, disappointing and suggests some jealousy.
  • Only once has a team come from 2-0 down to win the Ashes – this was way back in 1936-37. Don Bradman scored 270, 212 and 169 in the remaining three Tests of that series.
  • Stuart Broad needs seven wickets to reach 400 Test wickets, and will be the second England player to the mark after James Anderson.
  • If England lose this Test, they will equal their worst ever losing run in Tests in Australia (8), set way back in 1920-21.
  • David Warner in Perth: 5 Matches, 803 runs, average 89.22.

Prediction:

It’s hard to see how England will trouble Australia. At the moment, England lack the firepower and pace with the ball, and the batting looks very thin.
Australia to reclaim the Ashes once again in Perth with a win.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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