Submitted by Amith Chakrapani on Tue, 01/04/2022 - 18:23

Sydney plays host to the fourth chapter of the Ashes 2021-22 that will pit Australia and England against each other with drastically contrasting intent

04 Jan, 2022
Sydney plays host to the fourth chapter of the Ashes 2021-22 that will pit Australia and England against each other with drastically contrasting intent
04 Jan, 2022 By Editor

If one team is riding high on the wave of a resurgence as they resume their erstwhile incarnation, the other has been scrambling in the dark. As we head towards the fourth Test match of the already decided Ashes, Sydney will play host to another dead rubber in the harvest-rich rivalry that has promised redemption, vengeance and war.

Australia has secured a dominating 3-0 win over the English in the former’s backyard as their fast-bowling trident, despite being tricked into permutations and combinations due to injuries, has ripped through the visitors’ questionable batting lineup with extreme prejudice.

With the series in their pocket, the hosts gave themselves the luxury of tinkering with the starting eleven, making changes in bits and pieces to probe their bench strength as they will be setting course for a scorching Asian tour mid-year with the sun, rain and opposition as their looming adversaries.

England, on the contrary, is often faced with the nightmarish thought of putting their entire batting lineup through an overhaul after the team has failed to perform repeatedly, not just in the conditions Down Under but even back home, as India and New Zealand made an easy work of them.

Another glaring problem for the visitors has been their inability to play pace and swing. Despite being a nation dependent heavily on fast-bowling, their batters have failed to produce something extraordinary in recent times against express bowling with Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Kyle Jamieson and Neil Wagner putting them to the torch when New Zealand arrived. Once the Kiwi storm passed, Siraj, Bumrah and Shami made life a living hell for the Englishmen. With a brief respite in between, now they are in the midst of a storm brewed by the finest of Australia that has left them reeling.

With a whitewash in sight, Australia will be going all guns blazing as it would do them a world of good in their ongoing World Test Championship journey. England, on the contrary, will be desperate to start the new year on a positive note after a disastrous 2021.

Team news:

The hosts will have to begin their new year without the likes of Travis Head who has tested positive for Covid. However, it won’t be a spot of bother as they have got the loss covered with the premium insurance of an experienced Usman Khwaja who played a pivotal role in the preceding edition of the tournament before he copped a series-ending injury.

With a posse of talented fast bowlers at their disposal, Australia wasn’t concerned with the side strain of Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson’s scathed shin. They were happy to go forth with the likes of Scott Boland, as the debutant fast bowler breathed fire in Melbourne.

England, on the contrary, lost nine members of their coaching staff to isolation after all of them tested positive for the virus including their main man, Chris Silverwood.

Ollie Robinson was taken out of the equation after copping a knock at the MCG and experienced campaigner Stuart Broad made his way back to the team.

However, it is English batting that will need a lot more remedy. It was highly unlikely that they were to resort to alterations because the options weren’t overwhelming either.

The only possible change could have involved an unprobed Dan Lawrence being introduced at the expense of Haseeb Hameed or Rory Burns. England also decided to rest Chris Woakes who is not fully fit as he is nursing a shoulder niggle.

Match details:

Australia vs England, (The Ashes, 4th Test) 

Venue: Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Date: January 5-9, 2022 

Time: 5:00 AM IST


Matches: 354

Australia: 149

South Africa: 110

Draws: 95


Sydney Cricket Ground has felt much closer than home to England throughout the chequered span of their rivalry with the Aussies as they have managed to secure 22 wins at the venue with this being the last sight of victory for the visitors back in 2011.

If Joe Root was looking for a silver lining, Sydney may very well come to him as the beaming sunshine, as this ground has provided the least-friendly welcome to Australia’s experienced spinner, Nathan Lyon, who has averaged 40.94 with the ball at SCG.

England’s current average of 18.75 runs per dismissal is by far their lowest in any of the Ashes series with three or more games played. In 1882, they registered an average of 20.20 but their bowlers pulled off the unthinkable as they secured a 2-1 triumph.

With Stuart Broad making a comeback in place of an injured Ollie Robinson, England may bank upon the seasoned fast bowler to deliver with the bat in bizarre times where the English batting has been toyed with. In context to the demand of batting from Broad, Wilfred Rhodes and Reginald Erskine Foster of England holds the highest tenth wicket partnership in the red-ball history at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The duo pulled off a 130-runs stand in 1903.

Playing XI:


Marcus Harris, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.


Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Mark Wood, Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson