‘Shaken’ Smith Ruled Out For Aussies
The only possible change that looms for England ahead of this third test at Headingley is the inclusion of 21-year-old all-rounder Sam Curran. England coach Trevor Bayliss hinted that Curran was raring and ready to go if given the opportunity, however it appears unlikely that the hosts will change their XI after a solid performance in the second test at Lord’s. Bayliss also mentioned that Jason Roy is probably more suited to the middle-order in test cricket, scores of 10, 28, 0 & 2 at the top of the order could see a batting reshuffle take place sometime in the series. Joe Denly has experience batting up the order in first-class cricket which gives England a plan B if Roy continues to struggle against the new ball. Jofra Archer was sensational for England in his test debut at Lord’s claiming 5 wickets and brought plenty of aggression to the table which is exactly what England was looking for.
England (possible) – 1. Rory Burns 2. Jason Roy 3. Joe Root (c) 4. Joe Denly 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler 7. Jonny Bairstow (wk) 8. Chris Woakes 9. Jofra Archer 10. Stuart Broad 11. Jack Leach.
Australia received some shockingly bad news ahead of this all-important third test at Headingley. Ruled out with concussion, Australia’s star batsman Steve Smith will not take part in the third test which comes as a huge blow to the visitors. Smith is expected to be replaced by Marnus Labuschagne who actually replaced the 30-year-old in the second innings at Lord’s. Copping a Jofra Archer bouncing-barrage at the body, Labuschagne fought through a tough initial period scoring a gritty-59 off 100 balls and potentially saved the match for Australia with South Australian skipper Travis Head. The temptation to deploy Aussie speedster Mitchell Starc after seeing what Jofra Archer produced with the ball must be extremely difficult to resist, however Australian coach Justin Langer suggested that the team won’t shy away from their initial planing & preparation they put in place prior to the series. Having said that, it’s hard to see a player of Starc’s caliber sitting out an entire Ashes series. The form of both Australian openers hasn’t been great either, especially David Warner who is yet to reach double-figures in the series. The pair have only managed to score a total of 62 runs between them in two matches! Surely this opens the door for Marcus Harris at Headingley?
Australia (possible) – 1. Cameron Bancroft/David Warner 2. Marcus Harris 3. Usman Khawaja 4. Marnus Labuschagne 5. Travis Head 6. Matthew Wade 7. Tim Paine (c & wk) 8. Pat Cummins 9. Peter Siddle/Mitchell Starc 10. Nathan Lyon 11. Josh Hazlewood.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.