England suffered their second consecutive defeat in the ongoing Ashes 2021 series after losing the second Test by 275 runs. Another defeat in the third Test could end their ambitions of winning the series. The third Test is scheduled to be played from 26th December to 30th December 2021 at Melbourne Cricket Ground. Former Australian cricketer, Michael Hussey has suggested four changes in the England Cricket Team for the third Test. The southpaw wants Zak Crawley to come into the team in place of either one of Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed.
“The openers aren’t getting the job done so I think they have to make one change there… I think Burns actually looked pretty good in the second innings here. Is that good enough to keep his place? Hameed’s hung in there and he’s done OK but he hasn’t been able to go on and score that big score… Perhaps someone like Zak Crawley can come into that position, he’s tall, he’s dominant, and talking to Shane Warne, he says his game is suited to Australian conditions.”
Hussey also proposed bringing in Jonny Bairstow for Ollie Pope in the English middle order. Add to that, he wants to bring Jack Leach and Mark Wood into the side to add a bit more variety to the attack.
“I’ll also be looking at a change in the middle order. Let’s chat about Ollie Pope. Do you bring in someone with a bit more experience like Bairstow to come in and bat in the middle order there? Perhaps that’s something they can look at as well.”
“And then the attack – you got to get the balance right, get a bit more variety in that attack. I really hope they go back to Leach. They really need a front-line spinner there. I think they need some pace with Mark Wood back as well… I’d be going for one of Anderson and Broad, definitely, Wood, definitely Leach, and then you’ve got Stokes in there as well.”
As for the Australia team, Michael Hussey suggested one change in the playing XI. As per him, Pat Cummins should come back into the side, replacing Michael Naser for the next game. Pat Cummins missed out on the second Test as he came into contact with a Covid-19 positive patient. He is available for the third Test.
Josh Hazlewood, too, is available for the third Test after missing out on the second Test due to a side strain. Jhye Richardson, who replaced Hazlewood in the playing XI, took a five-for in the final innings of the second Test. It will be interesting to see if the management persists with him in the next Test or bring Josh Hazlewood back into the playing XI.