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England make bold changes to XI as Australia seek Ashes victory

According to a report, Australia will face a significantly altered England XI in the Third Test of the 2023 Ashes starting Thursday. England are planning to include an extra bowler and a longer tail in their lineup due to an injury to No.3 batsman Ollie Pope.

Ben Stokes’ team will make a comeback with three bowlers: spinner Moeen Ali, seamer Chris Woakes, and fast bowler Mark Wood. In the meantime, veteran Jimmy Anderson and youngster Josh Tongue will be rested.

As a result, England will take a calculated risk by promoting No. 5 Harry Brook to first drop, despite his vulnerability to short-pitched deliveries and his aggressive batting style demonstrated in the series so far.

The probable England XI will consist of Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Brook, Joe Root, Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen, Woakes, Wood, Stuart Broad, and Ollie Robinson.

It comes as a surprise that Tongue will be left out of the team after an impressive performance, taking five wickets in just his second Test at Lord’s. Wood, who was unavailable for the previous match due to an elbow complaint, is likely to be preferred over Tongue pending a fitness test.

Considering Anderson’s age and his performances thus far, his exclusion from the XI is less unexpected. The 40-year-old has only managed three wickets in the series with an average of 75 and a strike rate of 150.

Woakes will replace Anderson and play his first Test since March 2021. Known for his allround ability, he will provide England with depth in their batting lineup while allowing them to continue with a five-pronged pace attack.

Batsman Dan Lawrence, who has not been utilised in the current era of the team led by McCullum, remains on the sidelines once again.

It was expected that Lawrence, with his similar style of play to Pope, would be selected for the team. Pope suffered a dislocated shoulder during the second Test and has been ruled out for the rest of the series, requiring surgery.

Australia are currently leading the five-match series 2-0 and aim to become the first Australian cricket side to win the Ashes in England since 2001.

Due to Nathan Lyon’s calf injury at Lord’s, spinner Todd Murphy is anticipated to replace him. The Australian batting lineup remains unchanged, and there has been little public discussion regarding any changes to the fast bowling unit following Mitchell Starc’s inclusion in the second Test, replacing Scott Boland.

Australia are currently paying +140 with the top cricket betting sites to claim the third Test, while England sit at +150 to claim their first win in this five-match series.

Australia to win


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