Last Update on: December 25th, 2021 at 09:56 pm
After losing the first two Tests, England head into a must-win game in Melbourne to keep the series alive. The third Test of the Ashes 2021-22 is scheduled to be played from 26th to 30th December 2021 at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Australia have won both the games played in the series so far. They would look to win their third successive game and thereby retain the urn. Here’s a look at how both the teams have performed thus far in the series.
AUS vs ENG: Match Preview, Ashes 2021-22, 3rd Test
On paper, England are definitely not a stronger side than Australia. However, perhaps, not a lot of people expected them to lose the first two games by such big margins. They would be disappointed for dropping many chances of the field and not showing fight with the bat. England lost the first Test by 9 wickets, before suffering a mammoth 275-run defeat in the second game.
England dropped chances on the field and allowed Australia to post a massive 473-run total in the first innings of the second Test with the pink ball. The bowlers didn’t look threatening as Australians piled on runs comfortably.
The English openers, once again, got out early in the second innings. Root (80), Ben Stokes (34), Woakes (24) and Malan (62) showed some fight but all the other batsmen fell in single digits. England, as a result, got bundled out for 236 runs. England bowled well during Australia’s second innings but the latter still managed to score 236 runs only to set a mammoth target of 468.
England found short of batsmen who could notch big knocks with the willow. They were bundled out for just 192 runs with Chris Woakes top-scoring for 44 off 97. Ahead of the third Test, England have made four changes. To add variety to the bowling attack, Lack Leach and Mark Wood return to the playing XI. Besides, Jonny Bairstow and Jack Crawley replace Ollie Pope and Rory Burns.
Australia have made a blistering start to the series, winning both the Tests played so far. One more win will help them win the series and thereby retain the urn. In the absence of their full-time captain Pat Cummins, Steve Smith led the side and ensured Australia continued their winning run.
Australia opted to bat first in the second Test and notched a mammoth 473 runs on the board. Marcus Labuschagne continued his fine form as he notched his sixth Test century. Steve Smith (93) and Warner (95) also batted exceptionally well and fell 7 and 5 runs short of their respective tons.
Alex Carey scored his maiden half-century in Test Cricket, while there were contributions from Starc (39) and Neser (35) as well. Despite missing the likes of Cummins and Hazlewood, Australians didn’t let England stitch big partnerships. Mitchell Starc, the leader of the pack, picked four wickets, while Lyon claimed three, helping England bundle out for 236 runs.
Australia didn’t enforce the follow-on and scored 236 for 9 in their second innings before declaring. Labuschagne, yet again, scored a half-century and thereby surpassed Joe Root to become the number one Test batsman in the world. Jhye Richardson picked a five-for in the final innings, while Starc and Lyon picked two each.
Pat Cummins, who missed out on the second Test, returns for the third game. Scott Bolland will make his Test debut as Jhye Richardson has suffered a leg injury. Hazlewood hasn’t recovered from his injury either.