Going into the third test, the series is tied at one test each between the cricketing giants. In terms of momentum however, Australia are leaps and bounds ahead.
For all England fans Cardiff was fantastic. It was a dominant display where impressive performances from Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler and Joe Root lead to a reasonably comprehensive victory for England, who came into the game and series as underdogs. Lords however, could not have been more different. On a slow, flat wicket, Australia performed a batting masterclass and turned the series on its head with one incredible innings. Rogers and Smith were stars of the show scoring 173 and 215 respectively. England couldn’t even come close to this performance and as a result crashed out massively, losing the game with a day to spare in the test match.
Going into the third test then Australia look settled. Haddin being injured did not look to effect the squad in the last test as Neville played impressively as his replacement. In the other dressing room Gary Ballance has been dropped with Bairstow coming in to the batting line up. As well as this Lyth and Bell look under pressure with Michael Clarke and some pundits underlining their need to score good runs these next few days. The bowling line up also looks shaky for England. Marcus Wood who performed well in Cardiff will undergo a late fitness test tomorrow morning to see if he will be fit to perform. If not Steven Finn will come in who hasn’t played a England test match in 2 years. Therefore comparing the two teams is unfortunately quite a miss match. The star players for the Australians shined through and now look up for the challenge whereas the England squad go into the match with our pride bruised and the cracks forming in the teams confidence.
So what do ‘The Biggest Sports News’ think will happen in the third test. In comparison to Lords, the pitch looks to be more in favour to the bowlers with at least some grass being on the wicket, depending on what the ground staff do in the final hours before the match kicks off. This change will be welcomed by England after the last match but will be no detriment to the Australians either who look like they could be confident on almost any wicket. I don’t think we will see another big easy win for either side. England may look weaker but I back them to roar back some damaged pride and really push Australia. We could be looking at a similar game to 10 years ago at the same ground in 2005, Edgbaston. There England won by just two runs to win the tightest Ashes test the two sides have ever had. I expect the entertainment to be high with lots of wickets with the likes of Broad, Anderson, Starc and Johnson being the vital players of the match.
As much as I hate to say it being English I think Australia may just have the better of the England side. I think this simply because of the more experience in their bowling attack on this style of pitch. Furtherm0re with their impressive batting order looking like they’re hitting their stride, England’s bowlers will have to show similar if not better form than at Cardiff to be victorious. To summarize then, the prediction here is for an Australia win with England not quite having enough to put enough pressure on the oppositions bowling attack.