4th Ashes Test Preview: England aim to ride on Headingley momentum and rekindle Ashes 2005 spirits
Craig Overton will replace Chris Woakes in the England team for the fourth Ashes Test against Australia at Old Trafford, which starts tomorrow
Let's not cloud our vision...
The unbeaten century from Ben Stokes at Headingley and England's victory by one wicket to keep the Ashes alive must have given every reason to the English fans to be optimistic. However, it is also possible to miss some facts in that hopefulness.
The facts are that Australia have been the better team for the most part in this series and were even ahead in the game for a considerable time in the third test. The knock from Stokes may paper over a lot of frailties but England still have a lot of work to do.
Can't feel sorry for yourself - Justin Langer
"You can sit back and feel sorry for yourself or put it under the carpet or you can work out ways to make sure we are up for the first ball of the next Test match. That's the part of dealing with 17 guys some have been on the road for a long time, there might be some memories of the past, all those things you can't ignore but you have to find solutions for how we win the next test match."
No reason why we shouldn't go and win the Ashes - Jofra Archer
"When Lyon fumbled the run-out, you could hear a heartbeat in the dressing room. There were so many emotions flying around. When the scores were level, it was just a big cheer. At least we knew the series was not over. He did give us a second life in this series. Everyone would like to win the World Cup and the Ashes as well so there's no reason why we shouldn't go and do it now."
Headingley win will mean nothing if we don't win the Ashes - Ben Stokes
"Everything we've done in those two hours means nothing if we don't win this game. It sort of feels the same. If we don't get these Ashes back, what will it feel like? I would take real satisfaction out of that innings if we end up winning the Ashes, because I'll know it got us back into the series."
Time for Starc, finally?
For Australia, it seems as if it is finally time for the introduction of Mitchell Starc in the Ashes after his seven-wicket match haul against Derbyshire. He is likely to replace James Pattinson.
Smith scored 23 in the tour match against Derbyshire but appeared to have completely recovered from the concussion
With Steve Smith fit and back, Usman Khawaja is expected to be dropped. Marnus Labuschagne can then bat at three and Smith at four. Another thing that Australia can do is to drop Marcus Harris and push Usman Khawaja to open the batting, but that will be unfair on the youngster who has got just one chance and performed well in the warm-up match against Derbyshire.
"If he got 20 or 220 'Smudger' would still want to go the nets and have a hit" ?? pic.twitter.com/j4Gb2HOmkl— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 31, 2019
A swap for Denly and Roy
It is surprising that despite mediocre batting in this series till now, England have not added an extra batsman to their ranks and hence are expected to be unchanged. Meanwhile, Joe Denly has confirmed he will open the batting in the fourth Test at Old Trafford, with Jason Roy to move down the order to No 4.
Antidote for Smith?
Somerset pacer Craig Overton, who has picked up 32 wickets from eight County Championship games this season, has been added to England's 13-member squad for the 4th Test. He is handy with the bat as well and has a first-class average of over 22.