Australia v England

The English showed plenty of fight in Sydney to draw the test match and avoid another dreaded five nil white wash.  Their top order was again shaky but Johnny Bairstow, who had shown glimpses of form after returning to the side in Melbourne, and Ben Stokes made crucial middle order contributions in both innings.  Bairstow made a terrific 113 in the first innings under severe pressure and a gritty 41 in the second innings batting for the draw with an injured thumb.  Stokes was back to somewhere near his best with dual half centuries.  Despite all of this Australia were in control for much of the test match and were left needing just one wicket when stumps were called at the end of the fifth day.

The fifth and final Ashes Test begins at Blundstone Arena in Hobart on Friday.

England Selection

Whilst they will take some confidence from their performance in Sydney, the problem for the English is close to half their side is under an injury cloud with little time to recover given the short turn around time between tests.  As many as five changes are expected to be made.  Jos Buttler is on the plane home with a finger injury.  The Sydney hero Johnny Bairstow is in doubt with a sore thumb, and all rounder Ben Stokes has a severe side strain but is expected to play exclusively as a batsman.  Energetic wicket keeper Sam Billings who has been starring in the big bash for the Sydney Thunder is likely to make his debut.  Rory Burns will almost certainly be recalled for the struggling Hameed and seamer Olli Robinson is also likely to come back in to replace the spinner Jack Leach.  There is also talk that they could rest the veteran Jimmy Anderson which would see Chris Woakes recalled to the side.

Australia Selection

Australia has confirmed opener Marcus Harris will be left out of the side for the returning Travis Head.  Usman Khawaja was only expected to play the one Test in Sydney after Head was forced to withdraw with Covid but twin centauries for Khawaja has forced the selectors to alter that plan.  Expect Khawaja to be promoted to open the batting and Head to slot in at number five in the Aussie order.  Scott Boland was also under an injury cloud but he has passed a fitness test and is expected to take his spot in the side.

The Wicket

There is a little bit of rain forecast through out the five days but I don’t think it’s enough to have a significant impact on the result.  Expect the pink ball to nip around especially under lights on a wicket which should offer the seamers plenty of assistance.

The Verdict

Although the English took it all the way to the last session with the Pink Ball in Adelaide I think they are going to really struggle here given the amount of changes.  Predicting Australia win this and win it comfortably.  Betting accordingly.

Suggested Betting Strategy

2.5 Units |  Australia To Win The Match @ $1.48 (Top Sport)