JASON GILLESPIE: It’s sad when Australia doesn’t trust their spinner. I’d play Todd Murphy… but Pat Cummins got away with a full-on attack
- England and Australia meet in the fourth Test at Old Trafford on Wednesday
- Australia go into the tie without a specialist spinner for the first time since 2012
- All-rounder Cameron Green returns to the side following a hamstring issue
If Todd Murphy was indeed chosen to fill the position vacated by Nathan Lyon, then why didn’t Pat Cummins beat him by more than two overs on the last day at Headingley?
I certainly would have expected the Australia captain to use his spinner at those key moments in England’s chase if Lyon had been there. So it’s not a big surprise to me that Australia left Murphy out of the fourth test on Wednesday.
Is that a trust issue? Cummins not sure if Murphy has what it takes? Or was he just him protecting the young spinner from him in Leeds when he was up against some really good and aggressive England batsmen? It’s an interesting debate, particularly as Australia will play a match without a spin specialist on Wednesday for the first time in Test cricket since 2012.
I value Murphy. He is a good young bowler and I would hate to go into any Test without a front row bowler. I would have played with him at Old Trafford. But perhaps Mitchell Marsh created a nice little problem for Australia with the way he played at Headingley.
And Travis Head played quite well at Lord’s when Lyon fell, so clearly the pundits have decided they can use their spin now and leaving Murphy out is their best way to get Cameron Green back in the side.
Australia captain Pat Cummins has decided not to select a specialist spinner for the fourth test.
Off-spinner Todd Murphy has been ruled out of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford
The all-rounder Cameron Green has been called up to Australia’s side for the pivotal clash.
Australia will use Head in a defensive role with the ball and then attack with their rapids and rotate them. Green, after his hamstring discomfort, could be used in short, sharp bursts with Marsh bowling some overs along with the big three fast.
I’m not surprised Josh Hazlewood is back because England have attacked Scotty Boland. It may sound strange, but that’s a bit of a feather in Boland’s cap because it means England respect him and the way he goes about his job.
It is also not surprising that David Warner retains his position. Australia coach Andrew McDonald likes experienced players and now is when you need that experience. Cummins would have the same mentality.
There have been such fine margins in this series. It could be 3-0 to either side now, but it’s 2-1 and Australia know that if they nail their skills and stick to their processes this week, they could become the first touring team to win an Ashes series in England since 2001.
England will try to push through this Test, particularly if the weather is bad, but Australia can play the long game. It’s fine for them to win after tea on day five, even if England look to be looking to win by the morning of day three!
We all know England want to entertain and put on a show, but there are plenty of ways to entertain and a Test going into day five with a positive result at the end is also suitable entertainment. But make no mistake, Australia will be playing to win this test. They will not go in looking for the draw they need to retain the ballot box.
It’s no surprise that David Warner (pictured) retains his place as Australia manager Andrew McDonald likes to include experienced players in his line-up.
Australia will use Travis Head (pictured) in a defensive role with the ball and then attack with their rapids and rotate them.
The teams are close but have very different methods and that’s what we love about Test Cricket. There are so many ways to approach the game and succeed.
I was in the first two Tests but watched the third from my home in Adelaide and there is no doubt that this series has captured the imagination of both sides of the Ashes division. It’s been a big problem here in Australia.
Is awesome. And there are similar vibes to 2005.
Old Trafford is one of the great cricket venues and I have no doubt that the Lancasters will fully support England. There will be a raucous atmosphere and it’s a really exciting prospect.
I predicted a 3-1 Australian win before the start of this series and I’m not going to change that now. The rain that was expected for at least one test could have an impact on this game, but I hope not. Let’s hope for clear skies and a cracking game. I can’t wait to see what happens.