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It's just about the time of the year to relax and take a break from boring and tedious work. Not for the England Cricket team, though. They have had six days to rest and recover and will now be pushing hard in the one final opportunity they have to draw level in what has been an embarrassing series for them.
The third Test of Ashes 2021 is all set to begin with Australia taking on England at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne on 26th December 2021. Boxing Day tests have always had a special place in the cricketing fraternity and we expect nothing different this time around as well. Australia have been brilliant in the tournament so far and will want to ensure that they do not let their guard down. England, on the other hand, have plenty of work to do.
This is a high-stakes encounter and given the occasion and the scoreline, adrenaline will be running high. We expect both sides to come out hard at each other and a cracker of a contest is certainly on the cards.
Just around a year ago, when India defeated Australia in Australia, Australia's domination in the World Cricket seemed to be coming to an end. However, in the last two months, Australia's never-say-die attitude has continuously been on display. They never were favorites in the ICC World T20 and they ended up winning the title.
More recently, they completely blew away England's batting lineup with what seemed to be more of a second-order bowling attack. On the batting front, as well, Australia looked well settled in both the matches they played. All the questions that were there regarding the open positions are now well answered by the suitable candidates and Aussies seem to be well-settled at the moment.
Going into the third match, we see Australia make a few changes, largely because of fitness issues. While Pat Cummins is likely to be back, we expect Josh Hazlewood to sit out of this upcoming contest as well. Also, Mitchell Starc is still not completely fit, but is expected to make it to the Melbourne Test just in time. All in all, Australia have everything going for them at the moment and with home advantage also at their disposal, they will be one tough side to deal with in this upcoming contest.
David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, TM Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Michael Lyon, Scott Boland.
England have often been touted as the home bullies and their recent away record kind of justifies that tag too. After facing a 2-1 drubbing at the hands of India at home earlier this year, they had a lot of ground to cover coming into the Ashes 2021 and they have failed considerably. This time, however, injuries had nothing to do with their squad strength. They had an almost full-strength squad available, to begin with, but has looked like minnows against the potent Aussies.
Joe Root did mention in the post-match presentation of the last match that bowlers were not up to the mark for them in the Adelaide Test, but it was more of a collective failure. Barring Joe Root, Dawid Malan, and Jos Buttler to an extent, none of the English batsmen have so far looked comfortable in these conditions and we might well see them make some radical changes in this upcoming contest.
On the bowling front, too, England's bowling looked a bit single-dimensional with no hit-the-deck bowler available. We expect Mark Wood to come into the fold for this upcoming match and that may well add a bit of sharpness to this ordinary-looking bowling attack. Overall, England have a lot of work to do going into this upcoming match and will need to play out of their skins. They have a capable unit and if they are able to play to their potential, they might well be able to match this high-flying Australian side.
Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, JE Root, BA Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, James Anderson.
There will be some assistance for the bowlers earlier in the day and both sides would want to utilize it to their advantage. That said, it would also mean that the team would need to bat last, which is not the chance either of these sides would want to take. With the surface likely to be at its best to bat on during the first couple of days, runs on the board would matter. The captain winning the toss would want nothing but to bat first here.
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It will be bright and sunny for most of the time during the course of the match, making it just the kind of weather needed for exhilarating cricket. While the first couple of days are expected to be partly cloudy, there are negligible chances of rain. The pitch curator has indicated that there will be some grass left on the surface and that might well bring the quicker bowlers into the game even further. There will be good assistance for the bowlers in the first session of the match and batting is likely to be a walk in the park thereon. Having said that, the surface will retain its hardness even longer and spinners are unlikely to find much assistance on the first three days of the Test. Keeping everything into consideration, we expect this to be a high-scoring match and the team batting first should be looking to put a total of at least 400 runs on the board.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team lineup for the Ashes 2021 - 3rd Test between Australia and England. Don't forget to check back the latest updated team right after the toss.
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With series hanging on the result of this match, the stakes could not be higher. Australia would be eyeing an outright win here to showcase their dominance yet again whereas England will be fighting for survival here at Melbourne. We have seen contrasting performances from the two sides so far and it will take drastic changes in performances from both these sides if we were to see a change in that. Considering that, the form that the two sides have been in, and the on-paper combinations of the two sides, we will be placing our money on an Australian win and so should you.
England's batting has produced substandard cricket over the past few months and that has been one of the major reasons for their downfall in the longest version of the game. With all that happening, Joe Root is one man who has stood the test is their Joe Root and will need to come good in this upcoming match. There's been a remarkably big gulf between the Root and the second-best batsman of the side and the numbers tell that. Root will have to be at his very best for England in the upcoming match and he is someone who thrives under pressure. We expect him to top-score for England in their first innings of this match.
One of the major reasons for Australia's solid performance in the two matches so far was the contribution from one of their two openers. David Warner was instrumental in both the matches and will be looking to build on his form. He certainly looks good to get yet another half-century to his name in this upcoming contest. Bet on David Warner to score a personal fifty in the first innings of the match.
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