Joe Root-led England is all set to take on Tim Paine and Co in the third Ashes Test at Headingley in Leeds, beginning on Thursday, Aug 22. England will aim to level series in absence of Australia’s Steve Smith, who has been the top-scorer for the Aussies with scoring 378 runs at an average of 126. Smith scored 2 hundred and 1 half-centuries in 3 innings.
However, in the second Test Smith was hit on his neck by a short ball from English paceman Jofra Archer. Smith was struck with a fierce bouncer timed at 92.4 mph (148.7 kph) on Day four in the Lord’s Test as Marnus Labuschagne came in the Australian squad as first concussion substitute in Test cricket history.
Australia’s bowling has plenty of firepower with the likes of Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood. Australian coach Justin Langer told his side not to involve in any verbal battle and focus on winning the prestigious Ashes series in England for the first time in 18 years.
On the other hand, batting would be a matter of concern for England. Apart from opener Rory Burns and all-rounder Ben Stokes, no one has looked in good touch. Their World Cup-winning opener Jason Roy scored just 40 runs in four innings but Rory Burns, another opener of the English side, collected 226 runs at an average of 56.50.
Australia XI: Tim Paine (capt/wk), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner
England XI: Joe Root (capt), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes