Ashes 4th Test Preview

Ashes 4th Test Preview
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Ashes 4th Test Preview

It's the New year and, the Ashes rivalry is set to resume at the celebrated Sydney Cricket Ground as the year opener match of both nations. The 4th Test of this Ashes will be the Pink Test, which is committed to raising funds for breast cancer patients through the Mcgrath foundation.

Coming into the action, England had a dismal outing in 2021 in whites. Everything went horrible and downhill in The Ashes as they didn't have answers to the questions from Australia in their pride event. A debutant taking 6 wickets for 7 runs in the second innings against them, bundling them all out for mere 68 runs sums up the performance put up by the English men. Things get even more ugly when we realize Australia made just 267 runs in the first innings, and yet managed to beat England by an innings in the boxing day Test match. The visitors are under pressure, being unable to reclaim the coveted Urn, and even ex-players are terming the side 'embarrassing'. The stalwarts like Ponting calling them out as 'worst performing team ever' will hurt their ego further.

Joe Root and co came into the third Test with 4 changes, but nothing went right for them. It was all familiar sight, as Fielders dropped catches and the batsman got out cheaply, and in no time, the team had its back against the wall. The whole bench looked drained out apart from a few bowling spells here and there led by James Anderson.

Joe Root scored 1708 runs, and James Anderson picked 39 wickets in 2021. Two extraordinary performers, playing in Sri Lanka, England, India, and Australia, but England just won 1 series through the 12 months, shows how the team is entirely dependent on both of them. It has also backfired their chances in most of the critical stages of each series.

Host Australia has been doing everything right since day 1 of Ashes. Whoever comes into the side puts a match-winning performance like Micheal Neser, Scott Boland, Jhye Richardson, and without a doubt, well-led by Pat Cummins. One of the best stories from the boxing day Test was Scott Boland making his debut and picking up 6 wickets in the third Test.


Pat Cummins confirmed that Josh Hazelwood's injury will make him miss the third consecutive match of the series. Jhye Richardson is not 100% fit, and thus Scott Boland gets another match after his terrific performance at MCG. The management has also decided to play Mitchell Starc for the 4th consecutive Test as he is having a remarkable Ashes series with both bat and ball.

Amidst the happenings, there is a mini Covid scare in the Australian camp, as Travis Head has been tested positive and is ruled out of the 4th Ashes Test. Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Marsh, and Josh Inglis have been added to the squad as a cover-up. The rest of the Australian players are tested negative in RT-PCR Test.

Usman Khawaja is the ideal choice to replace Travis Head in the middle order, as he has been waiting for the opportunity for a very long time. Khawaja was unlucky to be left out, and this is the right time for him to prove himself again. Also, Australia will be playing 3 series in Asia in the next 15 months, and Khawaja can play a vital role in the batting lineup.


England has made only one change, Stuart Broad coming in for Ollie Robinson. Experienced Broad missed out on the last Test, and the work management of Robinson has been considered as well. Their biggest setback has been the failure of the batting department. Apart from skipper Root and a few knocks from Malan, it has been absolutely nothing from their batting lineup. Lack of match practice ahead of Ashes is hurting Stokes badly, and the opening woes continue forever for this English side.

With the inclusion of Broad, we will see the combo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad together again in the Ashes. Both deserve to play together for their phenomenal career, and this might be the final Ashes in Australia for James Anderson.


Playing XI

AustraliaDavid Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, and Scott Boland

England: Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson


Pitch, Weather and Forecast

There is rain predicted at SCG for the first 2 days of the Test match, and the weather gets better with the next 3 days. So one can expect a shortened 4th Ashes Test. Pitch is supposed to assist spinners as well but rain might have some negating effect.


Head to Head

Overall: Australia leads 149-110
In AUS: Australia leads 98-57
At Sydney: Australia leads by a smaller margin of


Match Ups

Warner vs Anderson: Average 29.8 with 10 dismissals
Warner vs Broad: Average 31.9 with 12 dismissals
Smith vs Anderson: Average 48.1 with 8 dismissals
Smith vs Broad: Average 61.4 with 8 dismissals
Labuschagne vs Broad: 92 runs with no dismissals


Root vs Cummins: Average 25.6 with 7 dismissals
Root vs Starc: Average 37.9 with 7 dismissals
Root vs Lyon: Average 55 with 7 dismissals
Root vs Green: 30 runs for 2 dismissals
Buttler vs Cummins: 53 runs for 5 dismissals
Stokes vs Starc: Average
18.8 with 4 dismissals


History of SCG

Australia and England last met in Sydney in a new year Test in 2018, where Australia won the Test comfortably by an innings and 123 runs. Pat Cummins won the man of the match award for his comprehensive all-round performance.


Quick Stat Bytes

Steve Smith averages 74.81, and Marnus Labuschagne averages a massive 95.20 at SCG.
Nathan Lyon has picked 38 wickets from 10 Tests, including 2 five-wicket hauls at SCG.
David Warner has 4 centuries in 15 innings at SCG. Averages 58



Remarks from Players

Steve Smith said, “England have got quality bowlers. Broad and Anderson together are two world-class performers, they have been for a long time. Maybe we will see them out here together this week, I’m not sure”.

Pat Cummins said, “ It’s no secret that if Josh Hazlewood was available then he was going to play, he has
been just a brilliant bowler for us for a long period – We are still hoping he will be all right for Hobart."

Ben Stokes said, “Captaincy is more than about setting fields, picking the team, making decisions out there in the middle. A captain is someone you want to go out and play for. Joe Root is someone I always want to play for ”.


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