The third Ashes Test starts tomorrow. Australia needs a win or a draw to keep the five-match series alive.
A win for England will see it retain the urn and secure a third series on the trot. A win for Australia would put the series at 2-1 with England in the lead.
Monty Panesar has joined the England squad for the test at Old Trafford to partner Graeme Swann on a wicket that favours spin.
The Australian squad will be without fast bowler James Pattinson. His replacement will be either Mitchell Starc, who was dropped after the first test, or Jackson Bird. Spinner Nathan Lyon is expected to join the bowling attack.
David Warner’s heavy hitting – he scored 193 for Australia A in South Africa last week – helps his chances of getting back into the squad. If selected he provides captain Michael Clarke with another spinning option.
Steve Smith missed training on Tuesday because of a sore back but opener Chris Rogers expects him to play. Clarke rested himself through the tour match against Sussex to rest his own sore back, but trained on Tuesday and is fit to play.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist has expressed disappointment with the Australian batting line-up’s mental approach, telling Reuters “I’m sure they’re disappointed as much as anyone with their own choices and decisions they’re making within their innings.”
This test will see the International Cricket Council trial an independent television feed to improve its controversial Decision Review System. The DRS was at the centre of several controversial decisions during the first two tests. – Blake Moretti
Top photo: Captain Michael Clarke and first-choice wicketkeeper Brad Haddin fill the unusual role, for them, of drinks bearers during the tour match against Sussex. From Cricket Australia’s web page.