England and Australia are set to lock horns in the Boxing Day Test of the Ashes, starting Sunday, December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
England, led by Joe Root, have looked in dire straits in the five-match Test series thus far. After a humiliating nine-wicket thrashing at The Gabba, the Brits lost the Day-Night Adelaide Test by 275 runs. Having fallen 0-2 down in the series, the visiting team is staring down the barrel.
Root has also become the England skipper with the highest number of defeats in Test cricket after he surpassed Alastair Cook’s tally. The Three Lions have well and truly pressed the panic button and have made as many as four changes to their playing eleven from their previous Ashes encounter.
Zak Crawley has been roped in to replace Rory Burns, who has looked completely out of sorts. Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad haven’t found a spot in the eleven after underperforming last time around. Mark Wood has found his way back into the scheme of things.
The visitors have also called back Jack Leach, who missed the pink-ball Test. Jonny Bairstow has replaced Ollie Pope in the eleven. There might also be some nervous energy in the English dressing room after Root lashed out at the bowlers for not hitting the right channels in the Adelaide Test.
Australia, on the other hand, must be brimming with confidence after taking the upper hand. The hosts have made two changes to their playing eleven despite their victory last time around. Pat Cummins has returned to lead the team after he missed the previous game.
Scott Boland is also set to make his Test debut after making his white-ball debut five years ago in 2016. Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson didn’t find a place in the eleven. Richardson picked up a fifer in Adelaide, but was reported to have pulled up sore after bowling 38 overs.
Can England beat Australia in the third Ashes Test?
Australia are clear favorites to win the next Ashes Test in Melbourne without a shred of a doubt. Their bowling has been penetrative and their batters haven’t died wondering either.
England are still searching for their apt combination and it’s evident from the fact that they made four changes to their eleven. The Brits have a tough task at hand in the Melbourne Test.
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Prediction – Australia to win the match
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