Ashes: Can England wrap up the Ashes at Old Trafford?

01/08/2013 no comments »
Ashes: Can England wrap up the Ashes at Old Trafford?

England are in a strong position heading into the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford, as they know if they can gain a victory then they have the series won with two Test matches to spare.

England were sensational in the Second Test thumping of Australia as their bowling attack dismantled the tourists batting line up excellently to pave the way for the subsequent three hundred and forty-seven run victory.

Graeme Swann was one of the stars for England as his five wickets in the first innings did the damage and meant the Australians were always playing catch up for the rest of the game, thus in the end the hosts closed out the match in dominant fashion. Another who starred for England was Ian Bell, as the Warwickshire man batted beautifully yet again in the first innings, with his one hundred and nine also a major factor in the hosts victory.

Worse news has since followed that defeat for the Australians as fast bowler James Pattinson has been ruled out of the rest of the series with a stress fracture of the lower back, so it is probable that Mitchell Starc will replace him at Old Trafford. One positive for the tourists is that David Warner is back in the squad after his excellent one hundred and ninety-three knock for Australia ‘A’ against South Africa ‘A’ recently, so he could come into the team thus strengthening the batting line up.

Australia Coach Darren Lehmann has spoken of his desire to see his team bat better, and stating that this is the main reason why the tourists have struggled so far in this Ashes series, so David Warner’s potential inclusion could help remedy this problem for Australia.

England meanwhile have their own selection conundrum as Tim Bresnan played well in the win at Lords, so the hosts will have to decide if they want to recall fast bowler Steven Finn or name an unchanged side, this could all depend on wicket and weather conditions at Old Trafford. One thing is for sure, fellow bowler Jimmy Anderson will want another big performance at his home ground, with the Lancashire man recently stating that he is really looking forward to playing his first Ashes Test at his County ground.

My personal opinion was that the series would not be a walkover for England, but given the scale of the victory in the Second Test, I am now not so sure, but it will be fascinating now as the Australians have to go for broke in Lancashire, so another fantastic match should ensue. Ashes tickets still available.

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