The Fifth Ashes series Test Match takes place at the Sydney Cricket Ground, starting on Thursday January 5th. With the possibility of a whitewash gone, Australia and England play pretty much for pride alone in the final test, with England preparing to blood another young player.
Fifth Ashes Series Test Match – England
Seamer Chris Woakes is injured for the final test match, removing a tough selection decision from England of who to drop to bring in spinner Mason Crane. The original thought was that the pitch would suit spin and as such Crane would come in for Tom Curran. However, with Chris Woakes being ruled out due to injury for his left side both Crane and Curran will play in the fifth ashes test match.
This also means there is no danger of Moeen Ali losing his place despite a disappointing series with both the bat and the ball. The fifth ashes test match is also potentially the last chance saloon for both opener Mark Stoneman and batsman James Vince who have yet to put down a convincing marker in their fledgling test careers.
Fifth Ashes Series Test Match – Australia
Mitchell Starc is likely to return to the Australia team for the fifth ashes series test match having recovered from a bruised heel, with Jackson Bird the player to potentially miss out. Australia missed Starc’s pace in the fourth test at the MCG and with the pitch less suited to spin than originally thought there is no chance of an appearance for Ashton Agar as a second spinner to Nathan Lyon.
Cameron Bancroft is under some pressure in the Australia team, having scored three scores in the 20s after his 82* on debut at the Gabba. If he is retain his spot as opener for the upcoming series against South Africa he will need to improve on his only two previous first class innings at the SCG where he scored 22 and 6.
Fifth Ashes Series Test Match – Betting Odds, Betting Tips and Predictions
Predictably, Australia have been named favourites for this match at 1.67 while England are 4.50 and the draw is at 4.75.
If England are to get anything out of the fifth ashes series test match then they have to be better with the ball. While Alistair Cook did wonders for his confidence carrying his bat for 244* at the MCG all too often England were unable to put Australia to the sword in moments of pressure with the ball. James Anderson has taken 16 wickets at 26.06 apiece but his main partners Stuart Broad (10 at 40.40) and Chris Woakes (10 at 49.50) have massively lagged behind.
Contrast that with the returning Mitchell Starc (19 wickets at 21.05), Josh Hazelwood (18 at 24.61) and Nathan Lyon (17 at 27.88) and you can see the crux of the problem.
ProTipster Tips and Predictions: Mitchell Starc to be best bowler at 3.00 and Johnny Bairstow to be top England batsman at 7.00.