Ashes 2019

With the possession of the Ashes already secured, Australia would go into the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval, determined to finish on a high and register their first win over England in England since 2001. England, who have suffered enough embarrassment in this series already, would like a consolation victory to wrap up the home summer in Tests.

So, who would come out on top? Will Australia continue their good run of form or will the home side fight back? The result may well depend upon certain factors. Here are the most important ingredients that will determine the fate of the Oval Test.

Root's form

Australia's victory in two of the four Tests that they have played has resulted mainly due to Steve Smith's batting. Unfortunately for England, their ace batsman Joe Root is enduring a miserable series. Out for a duck three times in four matches, two times on the first ball, the English captain is facing the heat.

The best batsman in the English line-up, Root has to lead the way in his team's batting performance. Alas, that hasn't happened. He showed glimpses of good form in the second innings of the third Test and the first innings of the fourth. But apart from that, there has been nothing much. If England have to win, Root needs to score big.

Joe Root
Root needs to step up for his teamReuters


Usually, the pitch at the Oval, when the season is coming to an end, is expected to be flat and dry. This won't be good for England as their bowling attack has been less potent than that of Australia. On a flat wicket, they may find it even tougher to restrict Australia to a low score, especially to stop a man called Steve Smith.

On top of that, a dry wicket would make Nathan Lyon more effective. He may not have run through the English batting line-up in the last three Tests as he did in the first game of the series. Still, he has provided great control for Australia and has regularly created chances. So, the pitch may be a little more green than usual this time.

Fatigue of bowlers

Australian pacers have been excellent in this series and their workload has been managed brilliantly. But after bowling their heart out in the last two Tests, would Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood be able to perform at their highest level? Similarly, Jofra Archer has been given long spells. What condition would his body be in?

So, the team whose bowlers are best able to overcome fatigue might emerge triumphant.

David Warner
Can Warner overcome his horrible formMARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images

Australian openers

Australia are yet to get a good start in this series with the bat. Warner has been in a rut while both his partners, first Cameron Bancroft and then Marcus Harris didn't make an impact. The reason why the team hasn't suffered is because of Steve Smith.

But he can't single-handedly keep winning matches. If the Australian openers fail again, even the brilliance of Smith may not be enough.

England's middle-order

The likes of Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow have not done enough for England in this series. The unrelenting nature of Australia's attack has throttled the English middle-order. Joe Denly's form has improved and Rory Burns has also played well on occasions. But if the middle order keeps giving way, there is a great danger of all the good work at the top, if it is done, coming unstuck.