Three Test matches have been concluded in the Ashes series so far and none of them has been a five-day affair. The first and the second Tests finished within the first four days, while the third Test was even shorter as it was concluded inside three days.
Irrespective of the game not being played for five full days, the quality produced by both the teams has been top-notch with England leading the five-match Test series 2-1. If the first and the second Test matches were dominated by England and Australia respectively, the third Test was once again dominated by the English side.
Such has been the Ashes this season that one could never predict anything. This makes the 4th Test at Trent Bridge starting Thursday even more interesting.
Australia will have to come up with their best cricket at Trent Bridge. Even as the English are hungry for a series win, the Aussies will be eager to take the series to a fifth Test decider.
The Australians must have been deeply hurt by their third Test loss, where they were outplayed by England. Their batsmen failed to perform against the swing and seam movement of Steven Finn and James Anderson primarily.
Australia are not short of quality players with Chris Rogers, Steve Smith and David Warner shouldering the batting responsibility with good effect, but their middle and the lower order have not been consistent with the bat including skipper Michael Clarke.
With Adam Voges out of form, Shaun Marsh may get a chance to play in the fourth Test as the left hander has been impressive in the warm-up matches, scoring centuries against Kent and Derbyshire. Marsh, being a quality left hander, can definitely strengthen the team in the batting front.
However, England will be forced to play Mark Wood if fit, as James Anderson has been ruled out of the Test match due to a side strain. If Wood remains unfit, either Liam Plunkett or uncapped Mark Footitt will replace Anderson as the duo has been selected in the 14 man fourth Test squad.
Irrespective of the team changes that are going to be made in either camp, the players need to stand up and be counted to help their team emerge triumphant.
Expected Line Up
England - Alastair Cook (c), Adam Lyth, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, , Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Steven Finn, Mark Wood and Stuart Broad.
Australia - Michael Clarke (C), Chris Rogers, David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Nevill (wk), Adam Voges/Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon.
Ashes 4th Test Schedule – England Vs Australia
Date – 6 August
Time - 11am local time (3:30pm IST)
Venue- Trent Bridge