Friday, 20 September, 2019

The urn returns: Australia claims the Ashes in tense conclusion

Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss- England's focus on Tests is too late to win the Ashes but some tough decisions will need to be made It's almost incomprehensible what he's done, says Steve Waugh as he compares Smith with Bradman
Cary Erickson | 11 September, 2019, 02:22

Australia's Steve Smith has been in demolishing mode with the bat against England in the ongoing Ashes series.

"Well done Australia and @stevesmith49 for retaining the ashes".

England have named an unchanged 13-man squad for the fifth and final Ashes test against Australia at the Oval which begins on Thursday, the country's cricket board said on Monday.

The former Australian skipper, who has three centuries to his name apart from two fifties, has scored a total of 671 runs in five outings so far, almost the double of what the second-best has in eight innings (Ben Stokes, 354 runs) been.

That England took the game into the final hour of Sunday's last day before being dismissed for 197, having been none for two after Cummins took two wickets in two balls, said much about their resolve.

Each Curran and Woakes missed out at Previous Trafford. In the end, Overton and batting partner Jack Leach combined for a scrappy fourteen overs, giving the home crowd fleeting hope in a Ben Stokes-esque comeback.

Southgate: Rashford best for England as 'wide raider'
England are expected to maintain their ideal start to Euro 2020 qualifying when they face Kosovo, the world's 120th-ranked team, at St Mary's on Tuesday.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman, Smith has been in superb form this Ashes with 671 runs, including three hundreds, at an average of 134.20. "Winning here is still the ultimate for any Australia cricketer because England are always tough to beat in their own conditions".

Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer have bowled well in his absence but England would have been a stronger side had Anderson been fit and firing.

In contrast to Roy, Australia's Marnus Labuschagne - the first player to make 1,000 first-class runs this English season while playing for county side Glamorgan - made four successive fifties after coming in as Smith's concussion substitute at Lord's.

"I have come back fresh from a year out, but relaxed and chilled out".

"I'm not sure I have ever played better", Smith told the BBC.

In that case, England would look to usher in a bowling all-rounder from inside the squad in both Sam Curran, who could be enjoying on his Surrey house floor, or Chris Woakes.