Alastair Cook has described it as his “biggest challenge,” and it also happens to be his 100th Test match for England. Bringing up your century of Tests while being England captain, seems to be becoming a bit of a poisoned chalice, remember Andrew Strauss’ 100th Test?
In fairness, things aren’t that bad for Cook, as far as we know there is no mutiny in the camp like the one Strauss had to endure with Kevin Pietersen and co. But Cook is facing a massive test of his leadership in this Test match.
If England lose again, chances are the series will end in a 4 or 5-0 thrashing for England, we only have to look back at the last two Test matches to see how poor England can be once there is nothing – other than pride – to play for.
If that were to happen, the knifes would certainly be out for Cook, and surely his job as captain would come under serious scrutiny? Remember what happened the last time England lost 5-0, and that was to a great Aussie side, not an average side.
Ashes Betting – 3rd Test
Australia are obviously strong favourites, they are 1.65 to win the match and reclaim the Ashes. England can be backed at 5/2, and the Draw is a strong outsider at 9/2.
The Aussies look set to name the same side, while England will drop at least one spinner, probably Monty Panesar.
I don’t know who England will bring in, under normal circumstances it would be Tim Bresnan, but given the nature of the Perth wicket, they might want to go with one of the bean polls instead.
Personally I would like to see Bresnan and Steven Finn come in, for Panesar and one of Stokes or Swann. Why not just go for it now? Finn may be expensive, but he may well rip through Australia on this wicket. England also need some fight, so Bresnan is a must. He won’t roll over.
Feel free to come on here and hammer me tomorrow if England get blitzed by Mitchell Johnson tonight, but I feel an England fightback could be on the cards here.
I obviously don’t see England winning the Ashes, but with a bit of luck, a lot of application, proper batting, and holding catches (not much, I know), I don’t see any reason why England can’t come back into this series.
There seems to be a feeling that all Australia have to do is turn up at the WACA and they will win. I believe England turned up in Australia a few weeks ago with a similar complacent attitude.
It’s more the Aussie media, and not the Aussie team that seem to be saying that, but if the players have started to believe all the hype it could be dangerous.
Sportsbet have already paid out on an Aussie series win, and little things like that must surely be giving England the kick up the backside they need. Australia are still a brittle team, and they are not that good a side in my view.
Before Brisbane they were used to losing, so it shouldn’t take too much to knock their confidence. That said, they have been moving in the right direction since the Lord’s fiasco, and these victories are the culmination of all their hard work.
Despite the results of the first two Test matches, I believe they both turned on small moments. The Trott dismissal just before lunch on Day 2 of the 1st Test, and Carberry’s drop of Brad Haddin on Day 1 of the 2nd Test.
Both matches were over after two days, that is why it is so vital that England don’t crumble in Perth, lose this, and it will be a long long tour for England!