England and Australia will meet in the Third Test of the current Ashes series at Headingly in Leeds starting on 22nd August. The match is scheduled to last for five days and will start at 11 am local time.

 Match Preview Insights

  • Australia leads the series by one match to nil. If they win in Yorkshire then they will retain the Ashes. England needs to win or draw to keep the series alive.
  • The first England Australia match to be played in this ground took place in 1899.
  • The highest individual score by a batsman at Headingly was 334 by Australia’s Don Bradman in 1930, 304 of which were scored on the first day
  • The most famous England Australia match took place on this ground in 1981. Facing an innings defeat and 500/1 to win at tea on the 4th day, England fought back to win by 18 runs, thanks to Ian Botham’s 149 not out, and Bob Willis taking 8/43 in the Australian second innings.

England

England have named an unnamed side from the team that finished on top at Lord’s on Sunday, but could not force a win. The spotlight yet again will be on their new fast bowler, Jofra Archer, who caused such an impact on his debut, taking not only 5 wickets, but bowling with pace and aggression. His delivery to Steve Smith that struck the former Australian captain on the helmet has forced him out of the match, and sent a warning to the other batsmen,

However, England’s own weakness has been their batting. At the top of the order, Jason Roy, Joe Root, and Joe Denly have all struggled for form, and there is a risk that, with a swinging ball, the home side could find themselves three down quickly any time that they go out to bat. Rory Burns and Ben Stokes have helped hold their side together so far in this series, but both are due a failure, so some of the others have to step up, with at least one of them delivering a big score if England are going to win this match.

Australia

Australia will be forced into at least one change, with Smith ruled out of this match with concussion. Marnus Labuschagne, who did so well as the first ever ICC substitute at Lord’s, is likely to deputise.

Like the home side, the strength of the visitors lies with their attack – Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle will all fancy their chances of taking wickets if the conditions are overcast and the ball begins to swing. Headingly is not known as a ground that favours spin though, so Nathan Lyon may struggle to make the impact he has done in the series to date.

And, like England, question marks exist over their batting, especially in the absence of Smith who scored centuries in both innings in the win at Edgbaston, and made 92 at Lord’s. Opener David Warner has had a poor series so far – this would be a good time from his, and the team’s viewpoint, to find some form again.

Final Thoughts

England will go into this match slight favourites to win, if only because Steve Smith is missing from the Australian batting line-up. The home side will be hoping that the momentum has shifted in their favour after Lord’s, with Jofra Archer adding the “X” factor to their attack, although he will need good support from Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes. Their batting though needs to be improved, especially at the top of the order, as they are usually just a wicket or two away from a collapse at present. It would be an opportune time for captain Joe Root to find some form on his home ground.

Australia’s bowling attack will always give them a chance though, and the conditions may favour them. The question is whether their batsmen can score enough runs without Smith for them to defend.