Preview: 4th Ashes Test Match

The Emirates Durham ICG may not be as spectacular as the MCG but if England manage to secure a much-anticipated series win on Tuesday, the small ground in the North of England will forever go down in history as the venue of a special win for England.

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Emirates Durham ICG. Photo: brockvicky (via Flickr)

England were salvaged by the rain in Manchester that denied the Aussies the chance at collecting the 7 wickets they needed to halve England’s lead, but luckily, they never got that opportunity and England have already retained the Ashes.

But this is no time to lose concentration…or have a cheeky smoke outside a club or urinate on a bouncer…England still need to win the series and avoiding defeat in either of the next two matches will do that, but England, being the professionals they are, forgetting certain stories this week of course, will want to do the job in style.

England have made one change to the squad for Durham and that comes as no surprise as Panesar is dropped from the team, with Onions taking his place in the 14-man squad.

The 11 are likely to be unchanged, with the option of the extra spinner now not being there.

The Aussies have also made a change to their squad, dropping Ashton Agar in favour of Jackson Bird.

Agar has been unable to replicate his incredible 98 in the first test at Trent Bridge and his bowling hasn’t really caused enough problems to England’s batsmen.

Australia will be hoping that Ryan Harris, who has never played three test matches in a row in his career, will be able to play at Durham, but the injury prone bowler may be rested for the 5th and final test at The Oval.

The Aussie batting line up remains the same with captain Michael Clarke looking to build upon his 187 he made at Old Trafford.

The fact remains though, England’s top batsmen, Cook and Trott, have underperformed this series and the odd good innings from Root and Pietersen and of course the superb Ian Bell, have been enough to earn England the 2-0 lead they currently hold.

You have to say, if all 6-specialist batsman find their form at the same time, the Aussies will not be able to live with them.

My 3-0 prediction for the series is still looking in good shape as I just can’t see the Aussies having enough about them to claim 20 wickets in one test match.

If I am to stay true to my prediction and to feed my lust for great sporting moments, I would love for England to hold out for a nail biting draw in this test and then smash the Aussies at The Oval but with a more focussed England, desperate to recover from a poor batting and bowling display at Old Trafford, I suspect this series may all be wrapped up on Tuesday following a comfortable England win.

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