Aus vs Eng: Ashes 2021-22: Eng will miss Jos Buttler, Aus will look to dominate with Pink Ball
Australia will want to end this series with a win after a draw in the Sydney Test
After a lucky escape at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), England will find themselves in a situation where Australia will take the upper hand again. The home side has a spectacular record in the Pink Ball matches. The last Test match between Australia and England will be a Pink Ball affair and this Day-Night Test match will start from January 15 in Hobart. Australia have dominated this Ashes Test Series 2021-22 and they will continue to do so in the last Test.
Australia will rue the Sydney draw
Australia must have been fuming after the last match was drawn in SCG. They had to take just one wicket to win that Test match. Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland tried their best to take the last batters out. But eventually, James Anderson and Stuart Board hung in there to survive. The home side have already won the Ashes Test series 2021-22. They had a clear plan of winning the series five-nil.
But the drawn Test in Sydney has spoiled the plans for Australia and now they would be more eager to win the Pink Ball Test in Hobart to end the series with a win. The batters still hold the key for the dominant Aussies and they also have a good record with the Pink cherry. Australia and England have played two Day-Night Tests earlier and the Aussies have won both of those quite comfortably in the end.
The second Test of the Ashes Test Series 2021-22 was also a Pink Ball affair and the home team won by a whopping margin of 275 runs. Marnus Labuschagne scored 103 runs, while David Warner and Steven Smith scored 95 and 93 runs, respectively. Warner and Smith missed a golden chance of achieving a hundred in the Day-Night Test and they will be eying to score a century in this Pink Ball Test.
Australia will be eyeing to bring Josh Hazlewood back in this Day-Night Test. Hazlewood missed the first Pink Ball Test due to injury. Skipper Cummins was absent in the second Test match because he came in close proximity of a coronavirus patient. So, he will be eying to do well in his first Pink Ball Test as the captain of the Baggy Green unit.
The bowling has been fiery from Australia. The lengths they have bowled to the out-of-form England batters have been exceptional. The Aussies would be eying to bowl in the night session where the ball swings and bowlers like Starc, Cummins, Green and Boland would be again unplayable. Australia will want to win the toss and put runs on the board. That is the most comfortable thing for them to do in any matches they play. They have been winning continuously by using this ploy.
Usman Khawaja scored twin centuries in the SCG Test and so, he would in all likelihood play the last Test. According to recent developments, Khawaja has been picked as the opener in Hobart's Pink Ball Test. Travis Head gets his number five spot while Boland is available for the last Test of the series. But he needs to clear the fitness test.
Probable Playing XI of Australia – Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon
Read More: Aus vs Eng: 4th Test, Ashes 2021-22: Eng survive Day 5 scoring 270-9; Sydney Test ends in draw
Jonny Bairstow shined for England in Sydney
The visitors showed some grittiness in the last Test. They earned a hard-fought draw in Sydney, just like India did in 2021. But India went on to win their second Test series in Australia after that draw and England can salvage a consolation win in the Pink Ball Test. Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes again will be the key for England if they want to end the miserable tour of Australia with a win.
Stokes and Bairstow batted well in both the innings. Stokes scored a half-century while Bairstow slammed a hundred at SCG. But the form of the top three will worry England and they will also miss Jos Buttler in their playing XI for the Day-Night Test. Buttler tried his best to save the second Test. But he didn’t get any support from his fellow batters.
England will miss a quality keeper and a batter in Jos Buttler. The visitors can include Ollie Pope as his replacement. To solve their opening woes, England need to have Daniel Lawernce instead of Haseeb Hameed and Joe Root needs to promote himself at number three in this last Test. In the second Test which was a Pink Ball game, Root scored a decent half-century. But he failed in both the innings in Sydney.
Root started the last year with a double ton against Sri Lanka. England won that series. Now, he has started the new year with a golden duck. Root has to replicate what he achieved in 2021. England need his daddy hundreds in Australia. The tourists can also include Dominic Bess instead of Jack Leach. Leach has been effective on the Australian pitches like Lyon and Bess can also strengthen the batting order.
Dawid Malan's poor form is also a worry for the visitors. Craig Overton can be an option for them. Overton can bat as he is a fast-bowling all-rounder just like Ben Stokes. So, Root, Stokes and Bairstow would be promoted in the batting department, and Overton should get a nod for playing the last Test.
Overton can also be an option in the fast-bowling department. He will be good at assisting Anderson, Broad and will be the key in the bowling department as Mark Wood also looked good but, quite frankly, hasn't looked that lethal so far. Wood can change things with the pink ball in hand in the last Test.
Probable Playing XI of England – Ollie Pope (wk), Daniel Lawrence, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Craig Overton, Dominic Bess, Mark Wood, Stuart Board, Ollie Robinson, James Anderson
Match Details -
Match – 4th Test – Pink Ball Test – Australia Vs England: Ashes Test Series 2021-22
Day/Date – Friday, 14th January 2022 to Tuesday, 18th January 2022
Match Time – 9:30 AM IST/4 AM GMT/3 PM Local
Toss Time – 8:30 AM IST/3:30 AM GMT/2:30 PM Local
Venue – Bellerive Oval in Hobart
TV Channels – Sony Networks, Sony Six, and Sony Ten
Live Streaming – Sony LIV App
Australia vs England in Day-Night Tests
Australia have a perfect record in the Pink Ball Tests. They are yet to lose a Day-Night Test against any opposition. Against England, the Aussies have played two Day-Night Test matches till now. They have won both of them in 2017 and 2021, respectively, at Adelaide Oval.
Australia have won nine Pink Ball Tests till now. This chart will show the perfect nine of Australia –
On the other hand, England have a poor record in the Pink Ball Tests. They have played five Day-Night Tests till now and won only one match out of those. That win came against West Indies in 2017 in Birmingham. England have lost their Pink Ball games against Australia (twice), New Zealand and India.
Highest Run-Scorer for Australia with the Pink Ball –
David Warner – The dashing opener has the most runs in Pink Ball Tests. Warner has played seven games and 13 innings till now in D/N Tests. He has scored 704 runs with an average of 58.66 in those games. He also has a triple hundred to his name with one century and one-half century.
Highest Wicket-Taker for Australia with the Pink Ball –
Mitchell Starc – Australia have dominated this format because they have Warner and Starc. The Aussie left-arm pacer is the highest wicket-taker for Australia in Pink Ball Tests. He has picked up 52 wickets in nine games and 17 innings with an average of 18.23 and an economy of 2.96. His best figures in a match were nine for 97 and his best innings figures are six for 66.
Highest Run-Scorer for England in Day-Night Tests –
Joe Edward Root – The England skipper has the most runs for his country in Pink Ball Tests. Even though England have won only one game, still Root has scored 385 runs from five games and nine innings. His average in this form of cricket is 42.77. He has one century and three half-centuries to his name.
Highest Wicket-Taker for England in Day-Night Tests –
James Anderson - Jimmy has also left his mark with the Pink Ball. He is the master of swing and pace. Still, England have won just one game in the Day-Night matches despite having a bowler like Anderson. Jimmy is the highest wicket-taker in Pink Ball Tests for England. He has picked up 17 wickets in just five games and eight innings. He has picked up five for 43 as his best innings figures and six for 117 as his best match figures.
Read More: Usman Khawaja only the fifth Australian batter with century in each innings of an Ashes Test