England will look to make a comeback into the 2015 Ashes when they take on Australia at Birmingham from July 29. The Ashes 3rd Test betting tips & predictions can be found throughout this article.
England won by an innings and 78 runs.
The way things went in the third Test at Edgbaston, it looked like the incidents of the previous Test at Lord’s hadn’t even happened. Not remotely.
England had entered the game on the back of a solid, 405-run rout at the hands of Australia in the second Test and all indicators pointed to another comfortable Australian victory. It turned out to be the dawn of false hopes.
Australia were run ragged on a seamer-friendly track, lasting a total of 115 overs in the entire Test. Even that was possible only thanks to late-order fifties in the second innings of the game when all seemed lost for the tourists.
With England having found the template to beat Australia – get a green, movement-friendly track and have the bowlers not try anything extra but to put the ball in the right areas – it looks like the Aussies will need to do all the moving. Do they have the wherewithal to change the nature of game though?
Australia’s problems are compounded by the lack of form from Michael Clarke and Adam Voges, leaving a gaping hole in the middle. Shaun Marsh is just adjusting to life as a Test cricketer which leaves bulk of the job to be done by Chris Rogers, David Warner and Steven Smith. And barring Rogers, the other two have been patchy to say the least.
Their bowlers haven’t been that effective either. Mitchell Johnson has bent his back, Nathan Lyon has picked up the wickets but the lack of support – something Ryan Harris provided so well – goes missing when Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have the ball.
England have their own issues but for now the buffer of a 2-1 lead going into the penultimate Test should help them paper over them. Adam Lyth needs a big one and quickly at that, while James Anderson has been ruled out of this Test because of a side injury, leaving Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to lead the attack.
Ian Bell showed signs of getting back to form but England need Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler to get going too.
Ashes 4th Test Probable XIs:
Australia could go into the game unchanged as a result of needing to back their players but there are question-marks around a lot of them. Clarke, Voges, Marsh, Starc and Hazlewood need to get their bearings right here if they need to get back into the series.
Shaun Marsh is waiting in the ranks and could be an option for Voges.
England will be forced to make one change with the injury to Anderson. Mark Wood will replace him even though Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt have been brought into the England squad as well.
Players to watch out for:
Stuart Broad & Steven Finn (England):
With Anderson gone missing, it will be up to Broad and Finn to create similar magic. Broad has been good this series with his ability to push the balls up to the bat and get them to swing, taking 12 wickets at 27. Finn’s six-wicket haul in the second innings at Edgbaston won him the man-of-the-match award. It does look like Anderson’s absence won’t be missed if the pair can continue raking up the same, excellent lines and lengths.
Michael Clarke (Australia):
Out of form, to the extent Clarke himself noted the Aussies were playing with 10 men, the captain needs to lead from the front. He might not get a big century or anything like that, but a hard-fought 40 could go a long way in assuaging the frazzled nerves of the dressing room.
Ashes England v Australia head to head:
After the previous win, England have managed to narrow the gap down with Australia and are only down 105-129 in Ashes head to head. At Trent Bridge, there have been a total of 29 Ashes matches that have been played with England having won five and Australia scooped home seven. The last Ashes Test played here went right down to the wire, with England winning by 14 runs despite a fighting 71 from Brad Haddin.
Ashes 4th Test betting tips:
Australia to win: 6/5
Steven Smith to be Australia’s top batsman: 3/1
Stuart Broad to be England’s top bowler: 11/4
Where to watch the Ashes 4th Test?
Fans from England can tune in to Sky Sports to watch the Ashes series live on TV while Aussies will be able to watch it live on Channel Nine. Indian viewers can watch it live on Star Sports 1.
Match starts at 11 am local time (1000 hours GMT or 9 pm AEDT) from August 6.