England v Australia Ashes 3rd Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - England to level series with Smith out

England's Jofra Archer (PA Images)

A concussed Steven Smith out of contention and a red-hot Jofra Archer in their ranks means England head into the third Ashes Test at Headingley with a 1-0 deficit, but with a positive frame of mind.

Starting this Thursday, the world will possibly witness another exciting Ashes Test. Only this time, it could be the ‘make or break’ of the series.

Australia did well to retain their lead and will be confident of continuing their run despite Smith’s forced absence. After all, they need to avoid defeat in two of the next three to keep the urn. England need to win at least two to regain the Ashes and as such the pressure is on them.

England


Rain and loss of play robbed us of an exciting match at Lord’s where England slowly came into the game. Although captain Joe Root’s failures are a worry, all-rounder Ben Stokes looked to have regained his mojo. Then there are the flashes of occasional brilliance from Joe Denly and continued tenacity from Joe Burns.

The success of the series, however, is the aggressive introduction of Jofra Archer. The exciting quick generated so much buzz and lived up to it in his debut match. Although James Anderson continues to be out of contention, the England attack looks balanced and strong.

Australia


Smith’s absence threw the gauntlet at the Aussie batsmen, who were rattled by Archer’s pace in the second innings. Travis Head and the concussion replacement Marnus Labuschagne showed grit to eventually even out the contest.

The lack of runs from the top-order including David Warner and Cameron Bancroft puts the Aussies’ chances into doubt. On the positive side of things, a well-rotated pace attack gives them an edge as Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson come well rested for this match.

Match Up


Both sides look incredibly imbalanced with their batting, making this a shootout between their bowling. England will hope that Archer will continue to have an impact, while their lead batsmen will be led by Stokes. Australia will be buoyed by the strength of their pacers, but the absence of Smith throws this contest wide open. England start with a minor advantage because of Archer’s form and could make the best use of it. 

History & Statistics


  • England have won six of their last nine home Tests (W6, D2, L1).
  • England haven’t drawn consecutive Tests since against New Zealand in March 2013.
  • The last time England drew consecutive home Tests was against Sri Lanka in June 2011.
  • England haven’t won consecutive Leeds Tests since May 2007.
  • Australia have lost ten of their last 17 away Tests (W4, D3, L10).
  • Australia have lost seven of their last 13 Tests in England (W3, D3, L7).
  • Australia have won four of their last five Ashes Tests at Leeds (W4, L1).

Key Players


After a sensational start, all eyes will be on Archer and his thunderbolts. Another strong performance will help England get back on level terms in the series.

One player keen to resume rivalry with Archer would be Labuschagne. Amongst runs for Glamorgan in the season, the right-hander is a key player for Australia in the absence of Smith.

Tips



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England v Australia Ashes 3rd Test Tips, Predictions and Preview - England to level series with Smith out

A concussed Steven Smith out of contention and a red-hot Jofra Archer in their ranks means England head into the third Ashes Test at Headingley with a 1-0 deficit, but with a positive frame of mind. Who will win the Leeds showdown?

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