Australia vs England | The Ashes | 3rd Test | Preview | Pitch Report | Prediction
Team Australia won the 2nd Test with ease as predicted by us in our article. Now the two teams are set to lock horns at the Melbourne Cricket Stadium, one of the most iconic stadiums and the boxing day Test is a tradition that is treasured by all cricket lovers. Before we discuss the Melbourne Test, we must discuss the problems faced by Joe Root and Co.
Batting woes of England
At the top of the order, Rory Burns and Haseeb both are at sea. Burns has an open stance and he squares himself while facing fast bowling. He can not be successful in Australia as the bowlers are tall and move the ball effortlessly, so he is bound to edge the ball as he has an open stance.
Now Haseeb has pronounced front foot defense but the Aussies have ensured they bowl the hard length ball which is forcing him to play on the back foot, which is indeed inducing the edges.
Joe Root and Dawid Malan like to play shots so they bring some sanity. Butler and Stokes are in a catch 22 situation when they come in where England is on backfoot and they are playing Subdued innings. The Englishmen definitely need to free themselves if they are to make a comeback into the series.
The tail of England was always going to be a weak link and they will continue to fail against quality bowling.
Robinson is bowling in the 120s which is drastically lower compared to the 140 range which he used to generate during the start of his career. Veteran James Anderson is insipid and bowling at 133-135 instead of 138 to 140.
Chris Woakes has also reduced his speed by 5 km/hr. So in a nutshell, his effectiveness has been reduced by 50% on account of the reduction of speed.
Last but not least if Root has to play the role of spinner and on the other side is Lyon, this states the story.
Opener Marcus Harris has been failing and he will continue to fail. Cameron Green looks good but he falls prey to some good bowling.
Mitchell Starc is good but no longer lethal. Neser is ordinary. So they are surviving as England's batting is brittle. Against top and in-form sides, this bowling unit is likely to be exposed.
Match Toss Time: 04:30 IST
Match Start Time: 05:00 IST
Head to head
Venue and conditions
This pitch assists pace for the first three days and once the pitch slows down it is expected to be a paradise for the spinners. The last day as we know is very tough to bat on.
India is one country that has inflicted defeats in this venue back in 2018 and 2020, so it does confirm that Australia can be beaten.
Old adage, win the toss and bat is the right recipe for Melbourne. This can be averted if Batting second a team scores more than 400.
Pat Cummins is expected to return to the combination after being ruled out in the 2nd Test after being identified as close contact to the Covid-10 virus. Another change comes in the form of Scott Boland, who is set to replace Jhye Richardson.
Jack Leach should come in place of Woakes as he could prove effective once the pitch slows down. In batting, Rory Burns is likely to be replaced by Zak Crawley, Jonny Bairstow to play as wicketkeeper.
Olie Pope is likely to be replaced by Lawrence, which could them an additional bowling option as well.
Probable Playing Xl
Australia (AUS): David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (C), Jhye Richardson, Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon
England (ENG): Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (C), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, James Anderson
Australia is a firm favourite to win this encounter. If Australia bat first they will score around 400, get England out for 300 in the first innings. In the 2nd Innings, Australia is likely to have a lead of 350+ and on the 5th day, Lyon will win it for Australia.
If England bats first they will struggle and Australia will get a lead of 150 runs in the first innings and they will match with ease.
The views and opinions expressed in the article are those of the author's view and do not necessarily reflect the official match scores, proceedings, or position of the match in any way.