After the conclusion of ICC World Cup 2019 – England team came into the Ashes series with much hope. The three lions won the coveted trophy and turning Ashes in their favour will certainly add a cherry to the cake. However, the expectations were put to rest when Steve Smith’s heroics led Australia to victory in the first Test. England did add some spice into the second with Jofra Archer making one of the most memorable Test debut – but weren’t able to upstage the mighty Australians.
With this, the focus shifts to the third Test as the two teams move to Headingley in Leeds. The spice in this Test match has been added even before the Test match has begun with Archer being synonymous to the scariest bowler. Australia, on the other hand, will miss the services of Steve Smith, who has been ruled out with a concussion.
The surface at the Headingley has something in it always to keep the fast bowlers interested. A total of 59 matches have ended with an outright result out of 77 and the conditions might dictate what the teams will opt to do after winning the toss.
There is 50% chance of rain on the first day of the third Test. The clouds are expected to open up at 3 PM and 5 PM and we might not get a full day’s play. But the forecast is extremely good for the rest of the days with the sun expected to come out according to AccuWeather.
Rory Burns has been a valuable addition at the top of the order and he will also be helping out Jason Roy who is yet to find his feet in the longest format. Skipper Joe Root‘s form has also been a concern so he will be desperate to reverse his batting trend. England’s new No.4 Joe Denly has looked assured in his stay so he will be keen to convert his starts into substantial scores. Jos Buttler’s promotion in the batting order will certainly boost his confidence.
Ben Stokes will be in a good frame of mind after stroking an important century in the context of the series. Jonny Bairstow has kept well but he needs to contribute more with the bat. Chris Woakes has done his part as an all-rounder and especially his tidy spells have helped the skipper control the game. As usual Stuart Board has been amongst the wickets and the new entrant, Jofra Archer has already shown his colours in the whites. Spinner Jack Leach will be looking to consolidate his place in the playing XI as the premier spinner.
Probable XI: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (C), Joe Denly, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer.
It will be an important game for the opening pair of David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who has not found the rhythm since their comeback into the Test arena. In the absence of star performer, Steve Smith the onus will be on Warner to guide the batting department. He will be assisted by Usman Khwaja and Travis Head in the middle-order. Both of them have played well but a big score has eluded them.
Though Matthew Wade had forgetful outings in the last game his hundred at Edgbaston will keep him in good stead. Tim Paine’s poor batting form has affected his keeping skills so he will need some runs under his belt. Pat Cummins has efficiently led the pace attack and again he will be joining the forces with Josh Hazlewood.
Being a workhorse Peter Siddle will play the role of 3rd seamer. Nathan Lyon has hit his straps early in the series and now he will be hungry for more.
Probable XI: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khwaja, Marnus Labuschange, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (C & WK ), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc/Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle.