HomeICC Cricket World CupAustraliaAshes 2023: 4th Test - Preview

Ashes 2023: 4th Test – Preview

Ashes 2023 4th Test Preview: There is already a notion that this Ashes series might probably end up being the best of all time. Australia won the thrilling first Test after being under the pump for most of the game. Ben Stokes almost threatened to pull off another special win but it wasn’t enough at Lords.

Australia gaining a 2-0 lead looked determined to make it 3-0 at Leeds. But England’s heroes on return put up a special show to make a comeback into the series. The scoreline currently reads 2-1 in favour of Australia. It is England who needs to keep pushing this game ahead.

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The Wood and Woakes show:

England arguably played their best playing XI in the last Test. The introduction of Mark Wood might well prove to be a seminal point in this Ashes series. Australian batters who got used to English quicks bowling in at gentle 80s had to prepare hard for Wood’s steamers. Wood immediately made an impact as he picked key wickets in the game. He also took up the mantle of playing Bazball cricket with timely blows in both innings.

If Mark Wood rattled Australia with pace then Chris Woakes troubled them with precision. The ever-honest Woakes put in a complete performance to upset the rhythm of the visitors. Woakes played a crucial hand with the bat in the second innings to take England home. Their performances have ensured that the duo can’t be dropped/rested for the coming two Tests.

Does that mean England is going with an unchanged side?

Many critics have already written off James Anderson. The English pacer looked off-colour in the first two Tests. England in an inspired move brought in Woakes ahead of Anderson for the third Test. They have similarly made another bold call for the fourth Test. England has dropped Ollie Robinson to draft in Anderson. It is mainly also to do with Anderson’s record at Manchester.

Moeen Ali will continue to bat at number 3 while Harry Brook will slot in at number 5. England has also persisted with a misfiring Jonny Bairstow. The wicketkeeper-batsman has had a forgettable series both with the bat and the gloves. He certainly owes a big knock for the unquestionable faith shown in him.

Australia’s good problem to solve:

The performance of Mitchell Marsh left everyone in awe. He played the game only because Cameroon Green was unfit for the match. But Marsh’s inspired knock left the Australian team to make a tough decision. It was speculated that Green will return to his number 6 position while the axe might fall on David Warner. But Australia has backed the left-hander once again. They have accommodated both Marsh and Green.

At what cost?

For the first time since the Perth Test in 2011-12, Australia is going into a Test without a proper spinner. They have dropped Todd Murphy to welcome Green back into the XI. It leaves Australia with arguably its longest-ever Test batting lineup with Mitchell Starc slated to come in at number 10. Australia has made no qualms in dropping an out-of-form Scott Boland for this match. Josh Hazlewood will rightfully take his spot.

The verdict:

Both teams have deep batting lineups. This will give them the license to bat even more freely. England has got to do most of the running in this Test. There will be a lot of drama around this Test as has been the case throughout the series. Weather is also expected to play its part in this game. The odds are stacked against England. Their biggest challenge and probably their biggest opportunity to unleash the Bazball is here!

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Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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T20 WORLD CUP 2024 POINTS TABLE

SUPER EIGHTS, GROUP 2

TeamMWLPTNRR
ENG11021.343
SA11020.900
USA1010-0.900
WI1010-1.343

 

SUPER EIGHTS, GROUP 1

TeamMWLPTNRR
AUG11022.471
IND11022.350
AFG1010-2.350
BAN1010-2.471

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