Match details: Australia vs England 5th Test
Date: January, 14-18, 2022
Time: 9:30 am IST
Stadium: Blundstone Arena, Hobart
Australia has been the dominating force in the ongoing Ashes, and have already clinched The Ashes 2021-22 by convincingly winning the first three Test matches, however England showed some character in the fourth Test and forced the hosts to settle with draw.
Australia in the fifth and final Ashes Test, scheduled from January 13, at Blundstone Arena, Hobart, will be hoping to secure to secure the series 4-0, twice in a row at home soil. Whereas, England must have gained some motivation from pulling off a draw in the last Test, owing to the combination of rain and brave batting from England’s experienced tailenders.
Head to Head:
The pitch seems greener a day before the match but considering the rain forecast on the first two days, it would be a brave decision to bat first after winning the toss. However, bowlers seems to have an edge in the match and are expected to keep batters at toe.
Australia have ticked all the right boxes in the ongoing series, and with Usman Khawaja’s lightening comeback the team has become fiercer. Pat Cummins has confirmed that Usman Khawaja will open the innings along with regular opener David Warner, the Pakistan-born opener will replace opener Marcus Harris, while Travis Head who was ruled out after contracting Covid will return to fifth Test. Pat Cummins earlier expressed that Khawaja’s performance in fourth Test makes it impossible to keep him out of the game. The team looks really strong and will be favorites looking at their performance in Ashes so far.
The team has been a disappointment spree throughout the series, except the fourth Test where players like Stuart Broad and James Anderson rescued the team from yet another loss. That gritty partnership between both have injected some life to the team which has struggled so far. Wicket-keeper batsman Jos Buttler has been ruled out of fifth Test due to finger injury, hence, Sam Billings will make his Test debut. The team is expected to make more changes as Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Ben Stokes are both doubtful.
Playing probable XIs:
Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland/Jhye Richardson
Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow/Ollie Pope, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Jack Leach/Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson/Chris Woakes
Considering England’s fightback in fourth Test, the match is expected to be a thriller but eventually Australia is expected to win the series 4-0, by convincingly winning the fifth Test.