Harry Brook At No.3, James Anderson Dropped; England Set For Big Changes In 3rd Test - Reports

Updated - 05 Jul 2023, 08:21 PM

Harry Brook, James Anderson
Harry Brook, James Anderson [PC: Getty-PA Photos]

England National Cricket Team are reportedly set to make massive changes to their playing XI for the third Test of the ongoing Ashes 2023 series. The match is set to be played at the Headingley in Leeds between July 6 and July 10.

The Ben Stokes-led England have gone 0-2 down in Ashes 2023 after losing back-to-back games. They lost the first match by 2 wickets after they failed to defend the target of 281 runs at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Meanwhile, the Three Lions failed to chase down 371 runs in the second Test at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London and lost by 43 runs.

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Things have gotten worse for Ben Stokes & Co. as they have also lost Ollie Pope for the remainder of the series. The star batter has been ruled out of the Ashes campaign due to a dislocated shoulder. He is set to undergo surgery.

Also Read: Ashes 2023: Joe Root Says Alex Carey Will Be Remembered For Effecting Controversial ‘Jonny Bairstow’ Dismissal 

According to The Telegraph, England team management has decided to promote Harry Brook to the No.3 position in the batting line-up to deal with Pope’s absence. Harry Brook usually bats at No.5, but will now bat at Pope’s position. The team management led by Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes is not looking to include a proper batter in the playing XI in place of Ollie Pope.

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Instead, they have decided to recall all-rounder Moeen Ali to the team. Notably, Moeen Ali, who played the first Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham after coming out of retirement, missed the second Test due to a finger injury. The all-rounder is set to bat at No.7.

England to replace James Anderson and Josh Tongue with Chris Woakes and Mark Wood

According to the same Telegraph report, James Anderson and Josh Tongue are set to be rested for the third Test. Mark Wood and Chris Woakes are set to replace the aforementioned duo in the England playing XI.

Also Read: Ashes 2023: Is Todd Murphy The Next Nathan Lyon? Tim Paine Responds

The 40-year-old Anderson has been ineffective so far in the marquee series. In the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, he registered bowling figures of 1/53 & 0/56 and 1/53 & 1/64. While young Josh Tongue played just the second Test and he returned with impressive figures of 3/98 & 2/53.

Many experts have been calling for the inclusion of Mark Wood in England playing XI since the first Test as he brings the X-factor of express pace with himself. Notably, Mark Wood missed the second Test with a mild elbow complaint.

The 33-year-old quick will have to undergo a fitness test ahead of the Headingley Test and the team management is expecting him to pass the test.

Also Read: Ashes 2023: “Just Like Concussion Substitutes, There Should Be Substitutes For Muscular Injury” – Ravichandran Ashwin Calls For Change In Rules

England Probable Playing XI For 3rd Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson

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Ashes 2023 Australia National Cricket Team Ben Stokes Harry Brook James Anderson Joe Root Josh Tongue Mark Wood Moeen Ali Ollie Pope Ollie Robinson Stuart Broad Zak Crawley