The brilliance of Steve Smith has helped touring Australia retain the Ashes and now they go to the fifth Test looking to make it 3-1 win against England.
Can England address batting woes
England’s experiments with Jason Roy haven’t paid any dividends, although other batters too have had an average series. The surface does offer plenty to the bowlers, and England batting will be under the pump.
Surprisingly, the hosts are going ahead with the same squad although a few changes can be expected. With uncertainty over Ben Stokes’ bowling fitness, Sam Curran can be picked for Jason Roy. Chris Woakes can get back as well, in place of Craig Overton.
It remains to be seen how badly are England hurt and respond here. Can Joe Root, short of runs and fighting to save his captaincy, find his feet? Sure, it has all the makings of a blockbuster.
Steve Smith to better his own performances
It is Steve Smith’s Ashes, and again he can pile runs plus misery on England. He has been unreal, and you can bet on him for sure. Smith can be the difference again.
bet365: England – 6/4, Australia – 21/20
Skybet: England – 11/8, Australia – 1
betfair: England – 6/4, Australia – 10/11
The books are predicting Australia’s WIN.
Top Australia batsmen – Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschange
Top England batsmen – Ben Stokes, Rory Burns
Top Australia bowlers – Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood
Top England bowlers – Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad
Australia Playing 11: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c & wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon/James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood
England Playing 11: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy/Sam Curran, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes/Craig Overton