After what was one of the best innings from an English batsman, the series is now level heading into the fourth test at Old Trafford.
The series is once again in the balance with the score 1-1 heading into the last two test matches. Australia only need to win one of the last two games to retain the ashes.
If Australia win at Old Trafford then the series is over, however, if England win, the series will go down to the wire and the winner will be decided in the last match at the Oval in London.
4th Ashes test betting odds
So what are the betting odds heading into the fourth Ashes test? The bookmakers are predicting an England win, but they’re far from clear favourites. For the previous test they also predicted an England win, and they got that one right… only just.
England – 2.30
Draw – 4.00
Australia – 2.62
The odds on a draw are quite short but the bookies rate England and Australia’s chances pretty similar.
Steve Smith returns for Australia
After recovering from a concussion sustained during the second test match at Lord’s, Smith will return to the line-up for the fourth test starting on Wednesday.
Having scored 378 runs from just three innings in the Ashes so far, he will certainly be welcomed back in the dressing room.
A further boost to his confidence, Smith has regained the top spot in the ICC Test Batting rankings. This comes as Virat Kohli was out for a golden duck in India’s latest test against the West Indies.
In terms of team news for the Australian side, Usman Khawaja drops out to make way for Smith. Marnus Labuschagne bats at three with Smith coming in at four.
Australia are still deciding whether to play Peter Siddle or Mitchell Starc in their pace bowling attack.
England team news
After a stunning finish to the last test match, England and specifically hero Ben Stokes will be full of confidence ahead of the fourth test in Manchester.
However, the majority of the England batsman have a lot to work to do following their poor performance in the opening innings of the third test.
All out for 67 was one of the worst scores set by an England team. If it wasn’t for Ben Stokes, England would undoubtedly have lost the test.
In terms of team news, England has replaced Chris Woakes with Craig Overton in what is a tactical change that is set to exploit some extra bounce from the pitch in Manchester.
England has also made an alteration to their batting line-up ahead of the fourth test. Joe Denly will open with Rory Burns meaning world cup winner Jason Roy drops to fourth.
Captain Joe Root said:
“We’re still trying to find out the best formula in the top order, but we feel like we’ve got the right players in so it’s just reshuffling the pack.”
“It’s a good opportunity for Joe to hopefully get in and make a big contribution at the top, while Jason will hopefully show everyone what a world-class player he is, as he has done in one-day cricket.”
Let’s hope the rest of the line-up can help Ben Stokes in keeping the Ashes series alive come Wednesday.
Head to head at Old Trafford
Old Trafford is one of England’s favourite grounds, having won nine of the last 11 tests in Manchester and drawing the other two. However, they’ve not beaten Australia in the Ashes at this ground since 1981.
The weather is looking a little mixed for the first few days of the test with better weather on the horizon for the weekend. Hopefully, the rain will hold off so we can see some great cricket.
My money’s going on an England win. Despite Australia being the better side so far in the series, I think England will be full of confidence after a spectacular win in the last test.
Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below right now.