England are hopeful of coming out on the top against a weakened Oz team at Leeds
After drawing the last Test match at Lord’s, Australia leads the series by 1-0. The 3rd Test match of the series is slated for August 22 at Headingley, Leeds.
In Smith’s absence, England will look for their 1st win of the series at Leeds.
Headingley Test match is crucial for England as another loss will wipe out their chances of a comeback in this year’s Ashes.
On the other hand, Australia is looking for the 2nd win of the series. The men from down under won the first Test match of the series by 251 runs at Edgbaston, Birmingham.
Steven Smith who was the player of the match in the 1st Test will not feature in the 3rd Test.
Smith suffered from a concussion in the 2nd Test at Lord’s which ruled the former skipper out from the 3rd Test. Smith’s exclusion from the 3rd Test is a major blow for Australia.
The 25-year-old Marnus Labuschagne replaced Smith during the 2nd Test and became the first substitute in the history of Test cricket.
Can Warner break the spell at Leeds?
Australia’s star batsman David Warner has not scored big runs in the series till now. In four innings, he has scored only 18 runs. Australia needs a good start from Warner in the 3rd Test match. Australian captain Tim Paine has backed David Warner to come good in the Leeds’ test.
Tim Paine wrote in a column for the Australian newspaper, “David Warner hasn’t hit his straps yet and I notice people getting a bit trigger happy on that subject, but I am not worried”.
England has a great chance to win the 3rd Test match, in Smith’s absence. In the first two Tests of the series, English batsmen failed to build big partnerships. In the 3rd Test match, England needs big partnerships from their batting unit.
In the 2nd Test match, England bowled really well. Jofra Archer bowled really well in his first Test match. The English speedster took 5 wickets in the Lord’s Test match. In the 3rd Test, England needs a good performance from their players.
Probable XI (England): Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (Captain), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (Wicket-keeper), Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Jack Leach
Probable XI (Australia): Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (Captain/Wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
BY ANUJ SHARMA, DKODING MEDIA