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Australia v England 4th Ashes Test Preview and Predictions - Hosts to continue dominance

Rippa Staff 24 Dec 2017

The urn is back in Australian hands after a thumping win in the third Test at the WACA, and the teams are now at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the festive Boxing Day Test match.

The 3-0 scoreline takes nothing away from the series, which has still got a great level of importance for both the teams. The Ashes is not for the weak hearted and there is never a case of reduction in the intensity.

With Australia clearly in the ascendancy and with a great chance of taking another step towards a whitewash, will the visitors find inspiration from somewhere and win over the demons in their minds?

Match Preview


Australia continued their Ashes domination with another sterling performance at the WACA. Even after conceding 403 to the visitors in the first innings, the Australians stormed back into contention through Steve Smith (239) and Mitchell Marsh (181) to post a mammoth 662/9d in their first innings.

From then on, it was a case of praying for rain intervention, but even delays on the final day couldn’t stop the hosts from romping to an innings-and-41-runs win. The Aussie bowlers once again came to the fore by getting the better of the English batsmen, every time they had the ball.

Will this continue in the festive period? 

It is not a case of having the skill to fight, but the will to fight, that is the difference between Australia and England. While the hosts have found their players rising to the occasion each time there was a challenge, the visitors crumbled at every challenging step leaving them in the dumps.

The negativity around the team off the pitch isn’t helping things, but the biggest worry is the form of their seniors. Alastair Cook and Joe Root are yet to lead their batting charge while Stuart Broad is yet to even start in this series! David Malan has been the shining beacon with the bat, while James Anderson is slowly showing signs of being the leader of the pack.

With Craig Overton ruled out of the Test with a fractured rib, the visitors have another problem to tackle; as if the ones they already have, aren’t enough.

Lineups


Jackson Bird gets to play his first Test in more than a year as he replaces Starc, for the hosts. Tim Paine is doubtful too, but could play.

Mason Crane, Mark Wood, or Tom Curran? England face the dilemma over Overton’s replacement and it could be Curran, who may get the nod.

Stats


It’s tight between these sides at the MCG as Australia enjoy a narrow lead (W28, D7, L20). However, they are on a roll here in the recent times, staying unbeaten in their last six Tests (W5, D1) against all teams. Incidentally, their loss came against England in the 2010 Ashes.

Predictions and Tips


It is not easy being English right now, as they look clueless on how to stop the hosts. Back Australia to win the match at odds of $1.62 (William Hill).

Malan’s form makes him a key player for the visitors. Back the stylish middle-order batsman to make over 26.5 runs in the first innings at odds of $1.83 (Ladbrokes).

Josh Hazlewood should continue to torment the visitors; back him to take at least three wickets in the first innings at odds of $1.83 (Ladbrokes).


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Australia v England 4th Ashes Test Preview and Predictions - Hosts to continue dominance

Australia and England move to the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for the festive Boxing Day Test match. Will it be more of the same?

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