Sydney, Jan 3 (APP – UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 3rd Jan, 2022 ) :A demoralised England have vowed to salvage some pride when their shambolic and Covid-hit Ashes tour resumes in the fourth Test at Sydney on Wednesday.
Joe Root’s men face another difficult clash against a rampant Australia, who crushed them by an innings and 14 runs inside three days in the third Test at Melbourne to retain the Ashes with an unassailable 3-0 lead.
They are facing a 5-0 whitewash, although rain forecast for Sydney could come to England’s rescue.
Veteran seamer Jimmy Anderson admitted that “the lads are pretty flat at the minute if I’m being brutally honest”.
“That’s where the more senior players come in. We have to rally round, make sure everyone is in a good place and a good headspace to compete.
“We’ve just not been at the races. We’ve now got two games to do something about that,” he added.
Batting coach Graham Thorpe is expected to take charge in the interim, and faces selection headaches.
Their highest team total so far is just 297 and there have been no individual hundreds, with Malan and Root the only players to make half-centuries.
Thorpe admitted the batsmen have been given a “wake-up call”, reflected in their paltry 68 in the second innings at Melbourne.
“We are still trying to educate some of the younger guys into the rhythm of Test-match batting: playing situations in the game and doing it for long periods of time,” he told reporters.
“Some of them haven’t been able to do it yet.” With Head missing, Australia called up Mitchell Marsh and Josh Inglis into the squad as cover, but the experienced Usman Khawaja will almost certainly replace him for his first Test since the 2019 Ashes.
“Hopefully I can go out there and score a hundred and do well for the team in the absence of ‘Heady’,” Khawaja said. “I’m in the best cricket conditioning I’ve been.” There was talk that the home team could hand leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson a debut on what is traditionally the most spin-friendly of the Australian Test venues.
But with showers forecast for the first four days, that now appears less likely, with the strong grass cover expected to make the pitch more fast-bowler friendly.
If he isn’t quite ready, Scott Boland could retain his place after a remarkable 6-7 on debut in the Boxing Day Test, or Jhye Richardson — who grabbed a five-wicket haul in Adelaide — will return after being rested for Melbourne.
“I’ve got pretty good faith that if Hoff’s (Hazlewood) confident and he says he’s right to go, I think we back him in, he’s earned that trust,” said chief selector George Bailey.