Australia took an unassailable 2-1 lead in the Ashes 2019 test series and are clear favorites to take home the Ashes. This one has been one of the most exciting test series in the recent memory with each game having several facets to it. Australia has successfully retained the Ashes after having won the 4th test at Manchester with a convincing margin of 185 runs. This was a terrific effort after the team was deprived of a certain win in the 3rd test thanks mainly to the heroics of Ben Stokes. One thing is certain though. Australia looked the better side right throughout the series and they head towards the 5th test with a lot of confidence and expecting to win the series.
Australia team preparations
The biggest strength of Australia is Steve Smith who has by far been the batsman of the series. He has amassed a massive 671 runs in the series with 3 hundreds and 2 fifties. England has completely failed to dislodge him and he has proved to be the throne in their side on almost all occasions. One worrying factor for the Aussies would be the batting form of David Warner who has managed just 79 runs in 4 tests so far. But the middle order has looked decent with good contributions from Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade, and Tim Paine. What has been their strong point though is the bowling? Pat Cummins has been the pick of the bowlers with 24 wickets and he has received excellent support from Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazelwood. The series entry of Mitchell Starc in the 4th test added venom to the bowling attack. These bowlers are likely to be a handful at The Oval and the home team will struggle to find ways out.
England team preparations
England has been below par in the series with the exception of brilliance from Ben Stokes in the 3rd test final innings. They have totally failed to make an impact on the series. Their skipper Joe Root has scored 247 runs in 4 tests which is okay but not sufficient and they will really be required to step up for the last match. Their mainstay in the batting department has been Rory Burns with 323 runs so far. This batting lineup with people like Ben Stokes, Jos Butler, Johny Bairstow, and Jason Roy need to come good if England is to entertain any chances of salvaging a draw in the Ashes 2019. The experienced Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer have led the bowling attack for England with Ben Stokes and Jack Leach doing the duties of the remaining bowling options.
Last time these two teams met in a test series at The Oval was in the 2015 series when Australia handed out an innings and 46 runs defeat to Englishmen. This match also saw Steve Smith scoring 143 runs. This means England will be wary of Steve Smith and Australia going into this match. This wicket will assist seamers and the team winning the toss will look to bat first. England will go all out for a victory in the match but Australia is looking more confident and in form for the match. I will go with Australia on this one.
The Venue, Match Timing, and TV & Live Streaming
Venue: Kennington Oval, London.
Timing: Thursday, September 12, 2019, 3.30 PM IST, 10.00 AM GMT.
TV: Sky Sports Cricket.
Live Streaming: Sky Go.