World Champions, England return back to their capital city to fancy their chances of levelling the ongoing Ashes series and also put a stop to the former Australian skipper- Steven Smith who is currently in the top-notch form of his career.
Bagging the Player of the Match in the Birmingham & Manchester encounters- the right handed Aussie look ahead to add more runs in his kitty comprising of 671 runs in just 5 innings. A double century to his name in Manchester which resulted in a 185 run triumph over their Ashes rival meant the lost chance for the host to have their hands on the urn.
Though facing a team having the world’s top ranked batsmen & bowler in form of Steven Smith & Pat Cummins is a challenge in itself- the hosts will hope to answer all the challenges relying heavily on the new ball pair of Archer-Broad in the absence of injured James Anderson.
The left-arm orthodox Jack Leach will have a bigger challenge lying ahead of him dealing with the mixed reactions having earned the adoration from the fans & also criticism from former England skipper- Kevin Pietersen for his poor contributions with the ball.
After his crucial partnership with Ben Stokes at Headingley which saw the hosts not only to secure the win at Leeds, but also kept the series alive- the Somerset left-armer will be eying to play a role of the bowling all-rounder for his national team to answer his critics in the most preferred manner. Ahead of the clash scheduled in the capital- the hosts will be tempted to tend few changes in their Playing XI.
With Stokes cementing his place as an specialist all-rounder, Sam Curran or Chris Woakes is likely to walk down in the capital city, if the team management plans to include an bowling all-rounder for the final encounter. Jason Roy, too could find himself on the bench as the right-handed opener has failed to create a strong impact through his performance. The scores of 10, 28,0,2,9,8,22 & 31 in the 8 innings so far indicate the struggle by the Durban born batsmen. Marking his Ashes debut, Sam Curran will be hopeful of the 2nd win of the series & thereby avoiding a series loss at home against Australia in tests since 2001.
The Australian skipper- Tim Paine has expressed his hunger for the penultimate Test and termed the encounter as the “Grand Final.” Praising the inputs of Waugh, Langer & Ricky Ponting- the Tasmanian wicketkeeper- batsmen is all set to create history at the Oval and thereby start the nation’s journey of World Test Championship with a series win in its first assignment itself.
Having confirmed of one change, Mitch Marsh is set to re-place middle-order Travis Head. On a batting track with indication of intermittent showers, Marsh will don his baggy green outfit for the first time since last year’s Boxing Day Test. The South Australian was termed as “a big part of our future” by the Aussie skipper, Tim Paine.
A 2-2 series draw is the best, England can achieve and Tim’s men aim to grab the series 3-1 with the urn in their kitty.
England Confirmed Playing XI: Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Jack Leach and Stuart Broad.
Australia Probable Playing XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine (C/wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon.