Australia and England resume their Ashes battle in the 4th test at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester on 4th September. It is going to be difficult to predict the outcome of this match as both teams are evenly matched. Ben Stokes heroics have provided England a lot of opportunities. Steve Smith is slated to make a comeback in the Australian side for this match. The Ashes 2019 is tied at 1-1 after the completion of one of the better test matches ever played between the arch-rivals. England has dominated its opponents at this venue in the recent past but we might see some significant changes to the playing eleven for both teams.
England team preparations
England looked down and out in the last innings of the third test and it took one of the greatest test innings to keep England in the hunt for the Ashes. This should have opened the eyes of the British management as they must have realized the team flaws. Joe Root’s inability to convert into big scores is fast becoming a concern for the English team. England collapsed in a heap in the first innings as they were bowled out for 67 runs. Rory Burns should keep his place in the team but Roy has not looked particularly convincing. Will England keep him for this critical match? That remains to be seen. Denly looked good for his fifty while Root, Stokes, and Bairstow will complete the middle order. Jos Butler is also struggling and they will be looking for someone more consistent. There is a case for Sam Curran to be included but James Anderson has been ruled out due to injury. The England bowling attack looked good in the third test with Jofra Archer, Broad, and Jack Leach all bowling well. Sam Curran might get a look in for Chris Woaks as England might try something different against the returning Steve Smith. Ben Stokes has kept the team alive in the series though but miracles don’t happen all the time.
Australia team preparations
Australia hasn’t done anything wrong in the series so far but due to the brilliance of Ben Stokes, they find themselves level with England in the Ashes. They will be dwelling on the various failures such as Lyon’s fumble or wasted review or the dropped chances. But this is not going to get them very far and they must start thinking about winning the 4th test. Steve Smith’s return will be bolstering the test squad a lot and his replacement Labuschagne has done well as well. So, they have the welcome dilemma of leaving out someone for Smith. Khawaja, Warner, and Labuschagne are a certainty and it might be unfair to drop Marcus Harris after a single match but Steve Smith must be accommodated. It’s Tim Paine who should be left out for Mathew Wade but that is not going to happen in the middle of the series right? Australia might keep the same bowling attack which missed Peter Siddle. Australia is keeping out Mitchell Starc for some reason with probable thinking that he will not be effective in English conditions. Pattinson might be replaced by Starc in this match though.
Australia has looked the better team in this test series and they nearly went 2-0 up in the third test except that Ben Stokes had other ideas. This pitch will be more conducive to the batsmen and the return of Steve Smith is going to aid Australia a lot. England will have high spirits going into this match but these teams are evenly matched. I will go with Australia for this match.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester.
Timing: Wednesday, September 04, 2019, 3.30 PM IST, 10.00 AM GMT.
TV: Sky Sports Cricket.
Live Streaming: Sky Go.