Australia vs England – 4th Test Match Preview & Prediction
When is Australia vs England taking place? Tuesday, January 4th, 2022 – 23:30 (UK)
Where is Australia vs England taking place? Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
What is the expected weather for Australia vs England? 25-29c with a chance of rain across Days 1, 2 and 3, but dry on Days 4 and 5, whilst consistent cloud cover is also expected over the course of five days, however apart from Day 5 sunny intervals are also likely.
What channel is Australia vs England on? The match will be televised live on BT Sport
Where can I stream Australia vs England? The match can be streamed live via the BT Sport App
Australia beat England by an innings and 14 runs
THE TEAM NEWS
- Australia completed their retention of the Ashes in destructive fashion at the MCG, bowling England out for just 68 in an outstanding second innings bowling performance led by debutant Scott Boland, who took six wickets for just seven runs in a four over stint that helped complete an innings victory for the hosts.
- Middle-order batter Travis Head has since tested positive for Covid-19 and will miss the fourth Test with Usman Khawaja expected to come into the side in his absence, whilst Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis and Nic Maddinson have been called up as cover.
- Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has returned to net bowling having missed the last two Test matches due to injury and could return to the side with Jhye Richardson also pushing for a place after a leg strain kept him out of the third test, although Australia could well field a second spin-bowler in Mitchell Swepson with the SCG pitch expected to prove susceptible to turn.
- Just when you thought England’s batting couldn’t possibly get any worse, their showing in the Boxing Day Test will go down in history for all the wrong reasons, as they were skittled out for 185 and 68 respectively, ending their hopes of regaining the Ashes in the most embarrassing of ways.
- Both Zak Crawley and Jonny Bairstow failed to make any meaningful contribution with the bat having been brought into the side, although the two are likely to keep their places with opener Rory Burns potentially returning to the starting line-up, replacing Haseeb Hameed who looks out of form and out of his depth.
- On the bowling front, Stuart Broad will be hoping to play after being left out in the third Test, whilst England’s preparations have been hit hard by a Covid-19 outbreak among their coaching staff, with the likes of Jon Lewis, Jeetan Patel and head coach Chris Silverwood all contracting the virus.
England’s horrific showing in Melbourne has understandably served as a tipping point for everyone associated with cricket in the country as everybody rushes to have their say on how the Ashes have been lost in the space of just 12 days, whether it be fans, pundits, journalists, coaches or ex-players. The answer is very simple, the batting is simply not up to the standard required. Aside from captain Joe Root, not a single England batter is capable of surviving and scoring for an extended period of time against a bowling attack the quality of Australia’s. Changes are inevitable following the conclusion of the series, with head coach Silverwood all but certain to lose his job and Root's credentials as skipper also coming under heavy scrutiny, even if there are no players waiting in the wings to replace him.
However, there are still two Test matches left to play and for England to avoid the ultimate humiliation of a 5-0 sweep, but nothing looks likely to change in the fourth Test even with Australia unable to call upon the services of Head, who has had a strong series so far with the bat. Whatever score Australia accumulates whether they bat first or second in Sydney, the expectation is that they will bowl England out for less. Once again this should see the hosts take the contest by the scruff of the neck, dominating their opponents using the extra runs on the board as leverage. As the fourth Test goes on and the pitch potentially starts to turn, spin-bowler Nathan Lyon is likely to come into play should the Australian quicks have not already finished the job by then. Either way, whether this match lasts five days, four days, three days or less, an Australia win feels like the only realistic outcome unless either enough rain falls to wash away a significant chunk of playtime, or a Covid-19 outbreak among either playing squad curtails proceedings before they can reach a conclusion.