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Cricket Tips & Preview – The Ashes 5th Test

WILL EVANS charges down the wicket with cricket tips as The Ashes series wraps up in Hobart, following some belated signs of fight from England at the SCG.

Ashes Test Cricket Tips – Australia V England

13:30 (AEDT), Fri 14th Jan @ Blundstone Arena, Hobart

History: Played 355: Australia 149 V England 110 (96 Draws)

Last meeting: January 5-9, 2022: Draw at Sydney Cricket Ground

Final Thoughts: England head into the fifth and final Test of an arduous Ashes tour in better spirits after battling to a brave draw in Sydney. Hobart hosts the pink ball encounter.

Australia retained the Ashes with resounding wins in Brisbane (9 wickets), Adelaide (275 runs) and Melbourne (innings and 14 runs). The hosts seemed on course for another big victory at the SCG after making 8/416 declared in the first innings. England made 294 in reply, before Australia declared at 6/265. Joe Root’s embattled tourists batted for more than a day to secured a draw, with the Aussies just one wicket away from 4-0.

The returning Usman Khawaja (137 and 101*) was the headline attraction with a century in each innings. Steve Smith (67) notched a half-century in the first innings, while all-rounder Cameron Green (74) found some form with a fifty in the second. Scott Boland’s charmed start to his Test career continued, taking 4/36 and 3/30 to be Australia’s leading wicket-taker in both innings.

Jonny Bairstow (113 and 41) produced a stirring display for England. Ben Stokes (66 and 60) was also gutsy, while opener Zak Crawley made an impressive 77 in the second innings. Stuart Broad claimed a five-for in Australia’s first innings and spinner Jack Leach grabbed four in the second.

England are set to make several injury- and form-related changes for the Hobart encounter. Sam Billings looks likely to make his Test debut with injured keeper Jos Buttler returning home. Struggling opener Haseeb Hameed appears certain to be dropped for Rory Burns. Stokes and Bairstow are under an injury cloud, with Ollie Pope waiting in the wings for a recall.

Australia are rumoured to be considering resting pink ball specialist Mitchell Starc. Seamers Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser impressed when given the chance in Adelaide. But the main selection conundrum has been created by Khawaja, who appears undroppable after his SCG heroics. Travis Head – who made a series-high 152 at The Gabba – should return after COVID ruled him out in Sydney, which has put opener Marcus Harris back under the pump.

Blundstone Arena hosts a Test for the first time in more than five years. After going unbeaten in the first nine Hobart Tests, Australia have lost two of the last four – to New Zealand in late-2011 and South Africa in late-2016. Perhaps more importantly, though, Australia have won all nine day/night Tests they have played in.

Australia are red-hot $1.45 favourites. It’s hard seeing England ($6.50) improve across the board enough to pull off a morale-boosting upset – particularly with some key players less than 100 percent. The home side’s top-order and collective bowling attack advantages should again prove too much for England.

Tip: Special – Aus to win, Aus to have 1st innings lead, Aus to have the highest opening partnership @ $2.10

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