5th Ashes Test: Preview and Prediction
History awaits Tim Paine's men as we move on to the fifth and final Test of the 2019 Ashes.
As Paine quoted during the interview, "We came here to win the Ashes. We didn't come here to retain them". On the other hand, England would love to dismiss Australia's chance of winning the series and finish the series off with a winning note.
Simply put, The indomitable Smith stands in between England and the win. The former captain has dominated the bowlers with three tons and two fifties including a double-ton and averages more than 130. Apart from him, only Marnus Labuschagne has shown some consistency in the series.
Whereas, the combined effort of the bowlers has worked well for Australia. Hazlewood to Lyon, all the bowlers have performed admirably well.
For England though, Smith has made a mockery of each and every bowler. So, for them, the topmost priority would be to remove Smith early.
Coming back to the pitch, there is no grass and it looks good for the batting. Smith does have a great record at this venue. He is within touching distance of Bradman's record of 974 runs in a single Ashes series.
For England, they need the top-order to fire, especially skipper Root. Also, Broad and Archer who performed well in the second and third Test couldn't prevent England from losing the fourth match. It will be interesting to see if both the bowlers can come good for England, at least for their out-going coach Trevor Bayliss.
The Poms cannot depend only on Stuart Broad's heroics. Broad has already made David Warner his bunny. This is another opportunity for him to get the better of the opener. Warner though has all the skills to overcome the battle, but he is going through a rough patch. At the Oval, the competition will be intense for sure.
Surprisingly, in September, there is no rain in the forecast, and the weather looks beautiful for the Ashes battle.
England rightly brought in Chris Woakes in place of James Overton. Sam Curran also comes in as Ben Stokes won't be able to bowl due to injury. Jason Roy has been left out after a string of low scores.
Playing XI: Joe Root (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Jack Leach, Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer.
While James Pattinson sits out once again, Australia has picked Mitchell Marsh in place of Travis Head.
12-member team: Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, David Warner, Steve Smith, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Peter Siddle, Mitch Marsh, Matthew Wade, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Looking at the current form, Australia hold the upper-hand once again. We predict a series victory for the 'Accidental Captain', Paine.