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  1. #1
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    Australia drop Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson for 4th Ashes Test, Starc included in 12-man squad

    Australia have announced changes in their 12-man squad for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford as they look to recover from the shock loss at Headingley.

    England v Australia, 4th Ashes Test
    Old Trafford, Manchester
    4-8 September, 11:00am local, 10:00am GMT

    Steve Smith is set to return to the Australia line-up after missing the third Test as he recovered from the after-effects of a blow to the neck. While his replacement Marnus Labuschangne retains his place for the Manchester Test, thanks to his twin fifties in Leeds, Usman Khawaja, the regular No.3, misses out. Khawaja had captained the team in their tour game in Derby, making 72, but it wasn't enough for the left-hander to keep his spot in the XI.

    The visiting side have continued to shuffle their bowling attack, bringing in Mitchell Starc for potentially his first game of the series and leaving out James Pattinson. Starc, who picked up seven wickets in the Derby game, will likely be competing with Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle for three pace-bowling spots. Mitchell Marsh hasn't got a look in despite a half-century and three wickets in the tour game.

    England, meanwhile, have decided to push Joe Denly up the order to open, with the struggling Jason Roy dropping down to play at No.4.

    Remember the last time

    The Headingley epic was all about Ben Stokes' remarkable 135* and his last-wicket stand of 76, with Jack Leach contributing 1*, that helped England chase a target of 359 to level the series. This after they were bundled out for 67 in the first innings, in response to Australia's 179. While Jofra Archer picked up his maiden five-wicket haul, Hazlewood responded with five himself.

    Australia, who hold the Ashes, need to win just one of the two remaining games or draw both to retain the urn.

    What they said
    Justin Langer, Australia coach: "We felt a bit like we got the Ashes stolen the other day. And to England's great credit, that's what they did. They won that Test match , so we felt a bit like it'd been stolen from us. Now we've got to work out what we're going to do, and use that as fire."

    Stuart Broad, England pacer: "I'm going to be a very interested viewer from mid-on because they (Jofra Archer and Steve Smith) are two world-class players going against each other, with a little bit of verbal niggle going around as well. That's what Ashes cricket is about – the theatre, the excitement, the enjoyment."


    Conditions
    Rain is forecast for the week in Manchester, interspersed with some sunny spells. The last international played at the ground was the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 semi-final between India and New Zealand. While England drew with Australia at the ground in 2013, they have since won all their three Tests at Old Trafford comprehensively.

    Australian XII: Tim Paine (c, wk), David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

    https://www.icc-cricket.com/news/1335675
    Last edited by MenInG; 3rd September 2019 at 10:33.


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  2. #2
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    Khawaja has been out of form for a while. Labuschangne seems to be doing well.

    Not a bad decision.


    Bangladeshi Fan

  3. #3
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    Usman Khawaja has been axed from Australia’s XI to make way for the returning Steve Smith in the fourth Ashes Test, starting Wednesday.

    Khawaja hasn’t made a half-century all series and was considered to be in a shootout with Marcus Harris to play at Old Trafford

    Harris has won that race and will be afforded a second chance this series to open alongside David Warner.

    Khawaja will run the drinks having failed to impress in England across 12 innings, dating back to 2013. After six Tests in England, the 32-year-old averages just 19.66.

    The left-hander narrowly outscored Harris in last week’s tour match against Derbyshire, scoring 72 off 157. Harris also made a half-century (64), and has only played one Test since returning to the Australian side.

    The rise of Marnus Labuschagne and Harris could count against Khawaja in the coming home summer, although the left-hander has proven those doubting his Test credentials wrong in the past and coach Justin Langer is a big fan.

    “I like how calm he is in big Test matches. Sometimes it comes across as him being very laconic but Mark Waugh was like that as well,” Langer said last month.

    “He’s been the pin-up boy of Australian cricket in the sense that he knew what he had to do. He had to get fitter and stronger, he had to improve his fielding.

    “He’s done all those things. He’s been very good as a leader.”

    Khawaja suggested last week he still feels “really good batting” but a lack of big runs was “obviously frustrating”.

    Fast bowler James Pattinson has also been left out of a 12-man squad, which includes left-armer Mitchell Starc, who is yet to play a match this series. Peter Siddle will also return having been rested at Headingley.

    “The decision on the 12th man will be one of the bowlers,” Langer said.

    “Whatever three (fast bowlers) we select we’re going to have a very good bowling attack.”

    Meanwhile, selectors have resisted the urge to pick Mitchell Marsh despite the all-rounder top-scoring against Derbyshire. That keeps Matthew Wade safe in the Australian middle-order, while vice-captain Travis Head will retain his spot at No.5.

    Smith is expected to return to batting at No.4, which means Labuschagne will be promoted up the order into Khawaja’s vacant spot at No.3.

    Langer backed Smith to pick up where he left off in the Australian team after missing out on the third Test with a delayed concussion.

    “He’s moving really well. We’re hopeful that he gets back into the zone, hits the ball off the middle of the bat,” Langer said.

    “The whole time he’s been here he’s been batting well. So let’s hope he can continue that. It’s important for our team and it’s just nice to know that he’s back in the team.”

    Australian XII: Tim Paine (c, wk), David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon.

    https://coupler.foxsports.com.au/api...mpression=true
    Last edited by MenInG; 3rd September 2019 at 10:34.


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  4. #4
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    Starc will rough up the pitch for Lyon, who looks a different bowler when he plays.

  5. #5
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    Understandable why they opted for 5 bowlers. Their tail is pretty strong. They can all hold their own.


    A skilled hawk conceals its talons.

  6. #6
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    Rain forecast, let's hope we get a full match


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  7. #7
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    What has Wade done to be still in the team.... he should have been dropped also
    Last edited by Boycottisno2; 3rd September 2019 at 13:04. Reason: caps

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boycottisno2 View Post
    What has Wade done to be still in the team.... he should have been dropped also
    He scored a century in 1st test

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Destroyer View Post
    Understandable why they opted for 5 bowlers. Their tail is pretty strong. They can all hold their own.
    They're going with 4 bowlers, one of Starc or Siddle will probably sit out.


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  10. #10
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    Starc and Lyon playing together is a game changer. England has the momentum but they are due another collapse.


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