The Ashes, 4th Test: Match preview, stats, and more
Australia and England will take on each other in the fourth Test of the 2021/22 Ashes, starting January 5. The iconic Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) will host the New Year's Test. Australia retained the Ashes after beating England in the Boxing Day Test (MCG). England, who are 0-3 down in the five-match series, will play for pride. Here is the match preview.
Why does it matter?
- Australia have already won the five-match Ashes series after winning the first three Tests.
- They have a terrific opportunity to whitewash the Joe Root-led side.
- Australia have cleaned up England 5-0 in the Ashes only three times in history (1920/21, 2006/07, and 2013/14).
- They last won four or matches in the Ashes in the 2017/18 series (won 4-0).
A look at the key details
The fourth Test will be held at the SCG. It will begin at 5:00 AM IST. Unlike most Australian grounds, this venue is favorable for spinners. The top two wicket-takers here are spinners (Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill). Batters also enjoy their time in the middle. One can watch the match live on the Sony Sports Network and stream the same on SonyLiv.
Decoding the stats at the SCG
Australia and England have met 56 times at the SCG in Test cricket. Australia have won 27 Tests, while England emerged victorious on 22 occasions. Seven Tests have ended in a draw. England last won a Test here in 2011. Overall, Australia have played 109 Tests here and won 60 of them. They have lost 28 and drawn 21 games at this venue.
Usman Khawaja likely to replace Travis Head
Mitchell Marsh, Nic Maddinson, and Josh Inglis were added to the Australian squad after Travis Head tested COVID-19 positive. However, Usman Khawaja is likely to replace Head in the middle order at the SCG. Probable XI: Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins (captain), Mitchell Starc, Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon.
Will England alter the top order?
Despite having a star-studded attack, England are in shambles. Skipper Joe Root and top-order batter Dawid Malan have carried their batting line-up. It remains to be seen if they alter the top order. Probable XI: Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, James Anderson.