Australia v England
The fourth Ashes test match begins on Wednesday at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Australia made a mess of England in Melbourne to go 3-0 up in the series and retain the Ashes. The visitors were competitive for the first two days and at one stage looked like they would give Australia something to chase in the fourth innings but night two and morning three was all too a familiar site for the English as they were bowled out for 68 in their second innings. An innings and 14 runs defeat.
Australia will be forced to make one change from their side that took the field in Melbourne. Middle order batsman Travis Head has tested positive for Covid and will be replaced by Usman Khawaja who averages just over 40 at test level. He deserves his place in the side after an excellent start to the Sheffield Shield season. Josh Hazlewood will again miss with a side injury which means the man of the match from Melbourne, Scott Boland retains his spot in the side after a sensational six wicket haul in the second innings.
The English are yet to finalise their team as they seek to avoid yet another 5-0 Ashes white wash on Australian soil. There has been talk that opener Rory Burns may get a reprieve after he was dropped for the MCG test. If he was to return he would likely replace Haseeb Hameed who has really struggled with the extra bounce in Australia. England may also bring the veteran Stuart Broad back into the side on a wicket looking likely to be conducive to seam.
The SCG is traditionally a good cricket wicket which tends to deteriorate and offer plenty of assistance for the spinners on day four and five. Australia have regularly played the extra spinner at the SCG over the years, however given there is significant rain forecast throughout the Test Match, especially over the first two days which should assist the quicks, both sides will go in with the traditional three seamers and one spinner.
Were there no rain forecast any price would be a good price for Australia against an England team which is all at sea. To make matters worse they are without coach Chris Silverwood for this test as he has tested positive for covid.
Again, I’m keen to play the most run scorer markets. The hardest time to bat is likely to be against the new ball given the forecast which increases the chances of a middle order player notching up the most runs. Backing one of Smith, Khawaja, Green or Carey to make the most runs for the Aussies.