About the Match
England are already 2-0 up and will go to Old Trafford looking to make it 3-0 and win the series. Things went horribly wrong for the Australians in the second test at Lords and they were outplayed in every department of the game. The margin of defeat was so immense that the Australian squad will definitely be psychologically scarred when they take the field at Old Trafford.
During the post match ceremony at Lords, Australian captain Michael Clarke was booed by the crowd when he said he still expected Australia to win the ashes. High hopes from Clarke considering the way the Aussies played but coach Darren Lehman echoed Clarke’s thoughts a few days later when he said “Everyone back home is probably saying we don’t have the players. But we’re fine mate. Once we get the skills right, we’ll blow teams away. It’s easy as that. But it will take us a bit of time." Yet time is running out for the Aussies.
The 3nd test starts on the 1st of August and will take place at Old Trafford, a ground which has a lot of history behind it. The weather is expected to be good although weather conditions in England can change pretty quickly.
The pitch is expected to be dusty and dry which probably means that it could start turning from day one. This is probably why England have chosen to bring Monty Panesar into their squad as the second spinner. Australia on the other hand are in a tight spot because their young spinner Ashton Agar has performed with the bat but has failed with the ball. They may look to play Nathan Lyons in place of Agar as Lyons has more experience and did well when he played on the Indian sub-continent.
England will most likely go with an unchanged squad as they look to go 3-0 up and win the Ashes. The only cause for concern is the injury to Kevin Pietersen. He has been named in the squad and coach Andy Flower has confirmed that if he passes a fitness test, he will take the field at Old Trafford. However, they have brought in James Taylor as a replacement for KP. England have also brought in Chris Tremlett into the squad but will most likely not change their bowling line-up for the 3rd test.
The openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers have got starts but have not been able to convert them. However, Darren Lehman is unlikely to change that combination and give heed to the “bring back Simon Katich” campaign. Katich is making big runs in England but was dropped from the squad a few years back and since them has gone on to retire from Test cricket. The Aussies will most likely make two changes. Fast bowler James Pattinson is out of the Ashes with an injury and will be replaced by either Mitchell Starc or Jackson Bird. Batsmen Phil Hughes is likely to lose his spot to hard hitting batsmen David Warner who made a century in an Australia A game in South Africa.
Australian Side (probable):
Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (c), David Warner, Steven Smith, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Jackson Bird and Nathan Lyons.
England Side (probable):
Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson and Tim Bresnan.
Marais Erasmus and Tony Hill will be the on-field umpires. Kumar Dharmasena will be the TV umpire and Ranjan Madugalle the match referee