Ashes 2019: Third Test preview, predicted playing 11 and key players
- After eight consecutive Ashes Tests without a win, England will hope Headingley can put a stop to the poor run
After a hard-fought draw in the second Ashes Test, Australia would be looking to reverse the momentum in the third Test and put pressure on hosts England. With Steve Smith missing the Test due to a concussion, Australia will have to step it up a bit.
England came close to beating Australia in a rain-hit second Test, with the ferocious Jofra Archer playing a big part. Before the second Test, Justin Langer had said that Australia were planning to "keep wearing down, and get him back into his second or third and fourth spells." But that didn't seem to work. With an average pace of 92 mph, not only was Jofra's fifth spell the fastest of the match, but his bouncers kept Australia on their toes.
David Warner and Usman Khawaja will now have to take responsibility of scoring, especially since both have had two poor Tests with averages of 4.50 and 22.75, respectively.
Marnus Labuschagne, Smith's likely replacement, impressed with his gritty knock in the second innings when he came on as Test cricket's first-ever concussion substitute.
England, meanwhile, would want to push the advantage and equalise the series. The only concern for the team is their opening combination with Jason Roy unable to impress as an opener.
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (capt & wk), Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Josh Hazelwood, Nathan Lyon.
England: Jason Roy, Rory Burns, Joe Root (capt), Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach
It would have seemed improbable in the aftermath of his stellar World Cup that David Warner would have an average of under five after two Tests. But it's his time to step up and he's always been a man for big occasions.
Skipper Joe Root would be ecstatic to have a player like Jofra Archer in the side. With Archer satisfying the hype around him, England fans would hope that he wins the third Test for his country with support from Broad, Woakes and Stokes.
Also read - Ashes Lowest Total