Boxing Day Test set to be a fiery clash

Ruben Hill
January 18, 2018

On top of Lyon's pre-Ashes comments and if the 5-0 Ashes campaign of 2013-14 is anything to go - this could be the last time we see several of England's experienced stars in Test whites.

Australia bowler Mitchell Starc, the leading wicket-taker in the series, will also miss the fourth Test due to a heal injury and will be replaced by Jackson Bird.

England captain Joe Root has hit back at Ricky Ponting, insisting he has not led his team like a "little boy" and can be assertive when required.

"We need to make sure we do that and take those chances".

"The way he answered a lot of the questions after the game last week seemed nearly like a little boy", Ponting said.

Following the third Ashes test, Starc told reporters that he would be right for Boxing Day but it might not be all his choice. Cummins, who had an injury-ravaged career before making a Test comeback this year, said he once suffered a bruised heel and warned of its lingering consequences.

Tim Paine has joined Mitchell Starc as a doubt for Australia in the Boxing Day Test against England in Melbourne.

"I know for him he just wants to play every game, but it's a amusing kind of injury".

Woakes says they realise it's too late to win the Ashes but we've still got a lot to play for and we'll looking to prove people wrong, that we can put in strong performances here in Australia. We certainly (spent) a while thinking about it, trying to weigh up what was the going to be the best way to go about it in these conditions and on this surface.

"I've just got to keep on backing it and I'm pretty confident I'll make runs if selected". Hopefully this gets them up and going and they fire some barbs at us, because I love that.

The tourists are a team in turmoil ahead of the fourth Ashes Test, desperate to salvage something from the series after relinquishing the urn in Perth.

It all seems a long way away from that 8/15 at Trent Bridge two and a half years ago and selectors may be tempted to recall Jake Ball or go for something fresh in Tom Curran, who caught the eye with five wickets and an unbeaten 77 in the most recent Tour match.

"So (you have to) try and get it early enough and not try and really, really damage it", he added.

"(Opener) Alastair Cook is someone who I think has been thinking about retirement.

In a column for The Times, former England skipper Mike Atherton remarked that umpires had to shield the visitors' tail-enders from the "Bodyline" bowling that Australia were dishing out, while citing ICC Laws 41.6.1 and 41.6.2.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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