Australia Versus England
Third Ashes Test – WACA
December 15th – December 19th
Day 4 Wrap
Alastair Cook must be feeling a sense of déjà vu. Four years ago at the same ground, Cook’s English side was ground into the dust as Australia reclaimed the Ashes. Having spent more than 160 overs in the field, Cook fell to a spectacular return catch off the bowling of Josh Hazlewood. England will argue that they have not had the rub of the green in this match.
Australia started the day looking for quick runs but lost Marsh and Smith early. Tim Paine again showed his value to the side by marshalling another partnership with Pat Cummins.
If the English selectors are feeling brave, they won’t wait and cull some players for the next Test in Melbourne. England has nothing to gain by keeping Cook in the side. Keaton Jennings, currently on tour with the Lions could potentially be slotted into the Melbourne Test on Boxing Day. Mason Crane surely should come in for Moen Ali.
Ali has been ineffective with the ball this series, and its time to make a tough decision. For all their batting woes England have not been able to take twenty wickets in a match. If English selectors are feeling brave, then they will drop Stuart Broad for Mark Wood or Liam Plunkett.
The Australian selectors have shown this series the benefits of picking players in form. Broad, Ali, Anderson, Cook have simply not been up to scratch. James Vince would benefit from swapping positions with Joe Root. England needs their best player at number three.
Mitchell Starc broke social media with the ball of the 21st century. Ryan Harris will mention his effort to Alistair Cook at the same ground four years ago.
Barring the weather, Australia should go on and reclaim the urn tomorrow. For England its time to start planning for the future and ending a few careers.
Magellan Ashes Series
Australia Test squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Mitchell Marsh.
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), James Anderson (vc), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.