England look to win series in 4th Test Ashes Test vs Australia
England head into the fourth Test against Australia knowing they are a win away from recapturing the Ashes yet knowing they haven't won successive Tests in 2015.Updated: Aug 06, 2015 15:30 IST
England head into the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge starting on Thursday knowing they are just one win away from recapturing the Ashes yet being equally aware they’ve yet to string back-to-back victories together in Tests in 2015.
Since drawing their series opener against the West Indies at Antigua in April, England’s next seven Tests have seen them alternate between winning and losing.
Indeed their eight-wicket win in the third Test at Edgbaston, which put England 2-1 up in the five-match Ashes series followed a defeat by the huge margin of 405 runs in the second Test at Lord’s.
England will also be without all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson, who took an Ashes-best six for 47 at Edgbaston but was subsequently ruled out of the fourth Test with a side strain. England would like to recall Mark Wood, whose absence through injury paved the way for Steven Finn to take a Test-best six for 79 on his return to the side at Edgbaston.
Australia left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson insisted Anderson’s absence would leave a huge hole in England’s attack. "It’s a massive loss for them,” he said. "Whoever they bring in will have big pressure on them."
Stuart Broad, set to lead England’s attack in the absence of longtime new-ball partner Anderson, is just one wicket away from joining Test cricket’s '300 club' on his home ground.
But that is not his main concern. "We are consistently the most inconsistent side," said Broad. "There is no point ignoring and pretending it has not happened." He added: "It is all about breaking it down into the simplest form as players, so focusing in on our individual jobs on Thursday and not thinking about the exterior things like 300 wickets."
Australia would dearly love more of the aggression from Johnson that saw him produce two rip snorting deliveries that yielded the wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes in the space of three balls during England’s first innings at Edgbaston. "I’m scratching my head a little bit about not continuing on from that, and that’s something I’ll look at this game," said Johnson.