There’s just pride left to play for at The Oval with Australia retaining the Ashes thanks to their Old Trafford win which now leaves them with an unassailable 2-1 lead.
I have to say well done Australia who deserved the win. The Third Test heroics from England at Headingley will live long in the memory but the cold and brutal facts are that England were out-played over the series and not able to add to their World Cup win and certainly not able to restrain Steve Smith.
I’m not sure whether it was over confidence after the World Cup win but the top six batsman have not done well enough. Joe Root has done a good job as captain but he is still young and will learn plenty.
Now the side have to regroup for this final match with their heads held high and give the fans something to cheer. It’s not easy, as I know how the players must be feeling knowing the Ashes are heading back Down Under no matter what unfolds at The Oval. But there is still chance the series will be drawn and that should be enough motivation to finish the series with a strong performance.
Sam Curran and Chris Woakes will replace Jason Roy and Craig Overton for the final Ashes Test and Ben Stokes will play as a specialist batsman after a shoulder injury has left him unfit to bowl.
It needs to be back to basics for England and they need to play what’s in front of them.
England team for fifth Ashes Test: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes
Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Mitch Marsh, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Given the way this match now is, I can only really recommend some tentative wagers below.
It’s been great fun this summer covering the World Cup and Ashes for starsports.bet and hope you have enjoyed the blogs and videos.
I’ll be back covering the major matches, especially when England are playing and also the IPL so keep this frequency tuned.
Until then. Be lucky.
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