Battle For The Ashes 3rd Test: England v Australia on ESPN3

EDGBASTON, Sporting Alert – England and Australia will meet in the third Test of the Ashes series, with day one action set for Wednesday morning (July 29).

The series is locked at 1-1 heading into the opening day of the 3rd game at Birmingham.

England dominated the first Test in Cardiff to win 169 runs, but Australia returned with an equally dominating performance in the second at Lord’s – winning by 405 runs.

Aussie opener Chris Rogers, who was struck in the last game and suffer a concussion, remains questionable for this week’s game.

There have been several calls for Australia to sit Rogers for the third Test, but it is understood the player wants to feature.

He went through a training session ahead of the game under the supporting guidance of team’s physio Alex Kountouris and doctor Peter Brukner during an indoor net session and a final decision over his participation will be made before the start of the game.

Australia captain Michael Clarke also announced that Peter Nevill, who played in the second Test, will keep his place in the team as the wicketkeeper, despite Brad Haddin returning after he withdrew from the Lord’s game for family reasons.

“It’s obviously a lot harder for me because I have that attachment to Hadds, I’ve grown up playing cricket with him, we’ve spent a lot of time together and I love the fact that he’s still here working hard,” Clarke said.

“If an opportunity comes, he’ll grab that with both hands. “On the other hand, Nev made the most of his opportunity in the second Test, I thought he batted really well and I thought he kept exceptionally well.

“So it’s a tough one when you sit in the middle, but that’s the way the selectors have gone and I respect their decision.”

In the meantime, Jonny Bairstow, who has been in fantastic first-class form this season, is set to play a key role for England in the coming Test, after replacing Gary Ballance in the squad and England captain Alastair Cook is upbeat about his form.

“Jonny couldn’t be in a better place,” Cook said. “I guess that’s what happens when you’re averaging 100.

“I haven’t seen him play for Yorkshire but I did when he toured the Caribbean with us and played for St Kitts in a mixed warm-up and got a brilliant 90.

“His game has improved unrecognisably from where he was before. Players are allowed to improve, but we have to remember that he got a really good 90 and 50 against a good pace attack against South Africa in 2012.

“Jonny’s knocked the door down with his weight of runs for Yorkshire in Division One, they’re top of the league and he’s still averaging over 100 which is fantastic cricket at any level. He’s raring to go.”

Fast bowler Mark Wood is struggling to shake off an ankle injury and could miss the game with Steven Finn well placed to take his spot.

3rd Ashes Test – GAME INFORMATION

England v Australia at Birmingham on Jul 29-Aug 2, 2015
3rd Investec Ashes Test Match scheduled to begin at 11:00 local | 10:00 GMT | 06:00 EDT | 05:00 CDT | 03:00 PDT | Live online streaming will be on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

England Squad
AN Cook*, MM Ali, JM Anderson, JM Bairstow, IR Bell, SCJ Broad, JC Buttler†, ST Finn, A Lyth, AU Rashid, JE Root, BA Stokes, MA Wood

Australia Squad
MJ Clarke*, SPD Smith, PJ Cummins, Fawad Ahmed, BJ Haddin†, JR Hazlewood, MG Johnson, NM Lyon, MR Marsh, SE Marsh, PM Nevill†, CJL Rogers, PM Siddle, MA Starc, AC Voges, DA Warner, SR Watson

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