England made four changes to their XI ahead of the third test today at the Melbourne Cricket Ground v Australia.
Happy to see Rory Burns replaced by Zak Crawley after an unfortunate first two tests, it’s not just the mediocre batting numbers but he also paid the price for poor fielding too. Meanwhile, Haseeb Hameed stayed on despite plenty of fans suggesting that he should be joining Burns towards the chop, but at least Hameed scored a couple of okay double-digit scores & deserves to be tested with a different opening partnership of Crawley.
No need to change the top-order pair that worked so well in skipper Joe Root & Dawid Malan as they hope to make up damage to the Aussies, but hopefully the promotion of Ben Stokes at 5 would help England at least deliver them a century or two in order to stay in contention.
Jonny Bairstow in for Ollie Pope at 6, who hopes to be an upgrade to help stretch England’s run chase as Pope may have fired off well in the 1st Test at The Gabba but couldn’t keep it consistent ever since which saw him walk out the door. And let’s hope that Jos Buttler continues where he left off from the 2nd innings in Adelaide last week by hanging in there & blocking out these good balls but he’s also under pressure to improve his catching behind the keeping gloves too.
Ollie Robinson stays at No.8 who continues to shine with the ball and can bat a bit, while Stuart Broad’s return last week in Adelaide didn’t help much for England despite a fantastic 1st innings v Australia’s batting so they got Mark Wood back in his place at 9. Now it’s kinda harsh to pull the plug on Chris Woakes on this one when he too showed some late form with the bat on 44 & should’ve replaced Robinson at 8 but he hasn’t done much with the ball though as England opted for a frontline spinner in Jack Leach & James Anderson retains his spot at No.11.
Both openers are unfortunately gone early just a while ago with Root & Malan up to the task to turn England’s poor start around as they are 35-2.