The Ashes: England in a panic with team selection for 3rd test

Team selections were announced for the 3rd test starting tomorrow.

Australia: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.

England: Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Jimmy Anderson.

That England needed to make changes was inevitable. But there is a hint of panic in the changes made.

That Rory Burns needed to be dropped and replaced by Zak Crawley (for want of anybody else) was unavoidable. That Ollie Pope also needed to be left out was also inevitable but Bairstow rather than Lawrence as his replacement is questionable. Mark Wood comes in instead of Stuart Broad and Jimmy Anderson is retained. Ollie Robinson is also retained and Jack Leach replaces Chris Woakes(!). Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad have been taking wickets (3 and 2 )and their batting is not negligible.

Woakes also averages 54.28 away from home and 55.61 in Australia while Broad averages 37.88 in Australia.”

The paradoxical thing is that there is now a longer tail but the bowling attack has simultaneously been weakened. And the batting remains just as vulnerable.

The line between winning and losing can be very thin. Of course a hundred by someone (Root or Buttler for example) together with a Ben Stokes blitz is all that is needed for a huge batting success. That may still happen but there is panic showing in the England camp.

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