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Australia v England
Melbourne Cricket Ground, December 26-30, 2017
4th Test - Australia v England Test Series 2017/2018
|Australia 1st Inn||327 all out|
|England 1st Inn||491 all out|
|Australia 2nd Inn||4/263 d.|
|Australia won the toss and elected to bat.|
|Australia||Over: 124.2 RR: 1.82|
|Last Wicket:||S.E. Marsh, 4 (c. Bairstow b. Broad) - 4/178|
The fourth Ashes Test is getting interesting after England had the better of Day 2 against Australia at the MCG. Day 3 will see both sides fighting hard to turn the match in their favour. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 10:30am (AEDT).
After the runs from David Warner, Shaun Marsh and Steve Smith on the opening day, the home fans would have been expecting their team to put England to the sword and pile on more pain.
But instead, we saw a proper collapse. Smith was out for the first time at the MCG since 2014 and the Aussies then lost their last seven wickets for just 67 runs.
Stuart Broad impressed for the English. He had only taken five wickets in the three preceding Tests, but in this innings he ended up with figures of 4-51.
England really needed their seasoned pros to perform in this series and Broad will have been as disappointed as anyone with his lack of ability to stop the Aussie batsmen so far.
Speaking of seasoned pros, Alastair Cook finally found some form and while it is far too late in terms of the series, it was good to watch a class batsman get a big score. His century was his first in an Ashes series for almost seven years and while it might not stop the discussions about whether he should retire soon, it has given England a great platform for Day 3.
Without Starc, the Australian bowling attack hasn’t looked as scary and the slower MCG wicket has made it easier for batsmen no matter how hard the Aussie quicks are charging in.
The wicket has delivered a few balls that have kept low and this could become critical to whoever ends up batting last.
When play starts on Thursday, England will have Cook and Joe Root at the crease and both will be wanting to go big. They are still 135 behind and the aim will surely be for them to draw level without losing both Root and Cook.
If the team can put on a lead of over 100 then they will give their bowlers a chance to put the Aussies under real pressure in their second innings.
Smith meanwhile will be hoping that the Australians can create another collapse similar to the one we saw from England in Adelaide and Australia here. If they can rip out three wickets in the first session on Thursday then that will really change things.
It’s going to be a really interesting day ahead.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of the third day’s play from 10:30am (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.