It’s been only three days since the end of the third Ashes Test but it will seem like a lot of water has passed under the bridge when England and Australia meet for the fourth game in Durham. We’ll have live scores and commentary from 8.00pm AEST.
Rain played havoc on the fifth and final day of the third Test, causing much heartache to Australia after it seemed like they were in a position of great strength.
Since then, the DRS has remained the cynosure of everyone’s eyes for all the wrong reasons, following some appalling decisions and controversy around the alleged usage of silicone-tape to hide thin edges through to the keeper.
The ICC has denied allegations of cheating but the matter won’t die a natural death that easily, especially if the Hot Spot shows signs it’s not in the best of shapes to show up bat nicks. Or, all of a sudden it starts catching every nick!
In short, unless England and Australia play out a wonderfully crafted match that goes right down to the wire with the usual twists and turns, and ebbs and flows an exciting Test is known to dish out, DRS could yet again dominate discussion.
On the field of play, Australia will feel they were hard done by the weather last game, while some others may argue it was necessary for Michael Clarke to declare early.
Either way, Australia have lost the Ashes again and it’s down to damage control when they take field for the fourth Test. And the only way to do it is to win both the remaining Tests.
England will consider their performance in the third Test as a minor blip. An aberration at worst.
What they will need to be wary of is the lack of runs from the bats of Alastair Cook and Jonathon Trott, who have gone a combined total of 12 innings this series without a century.
Jonny Bairstow is still wet behind his ears as far as his Test career is concerned but the management will want something more substantial at number six.
That said, it’s difficult to see too many changes to either line-ups. News of Jackson Bird coming into the side has filtered in through reports but one isn’t sure who of Ryan Harris or Mitchell Starc will be sitting out.
Shane Watson also looks all set to lose his top-order slot to Dave Warner, which means he will come in at the number six slot – behind Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke and Steven Smith.
For England, Chris Tremlett is a chance and he could replace Tim Bresnan. The rest of the order should remain the same.
Follow the live score and blog of the fifth day’s play of the third Test from 8.00pm AEST. You can join me for this live blog and post your comments below.