The fourth test of the oldest rivalry in cricket is all set to begin at the iconic Old Trafford, Greater Manchester from July 19. The third match of the Ashes 2023 was much hyped and interesting. It went through to the very last day. Australia won the first two Tests and were on the verge of retaining the Ashes before England bounced back to win the third Test to keep the series alive. It was another cracker of a contest at Headingley in Leeds.
Mitchell Marsh smashed a brilliant century for Australia. Ben Stokes led from the front to help England get closer to Australia's first-inning total of 263. The Aussies set a target of 251 for the hosts. Harry Brook played an impressive knock of 75 to help England chase down the total with three wickets in hand. Mitchell Starc scalped a fifer but it couldn't stop England from registering their first victory at the Ashes 2023 series. England would be desperate to make another comeback and equal the series.
The pitch at the Emirates Old Trafford will most likely favor batters. It is dry naturally and we can expect the spinners will come into play as the game progresses. The pacers may get some assistance from the surface with the new ball and the batters will have to be on their toes early in their innings. There will not be huge totals. Lower scores, with an average of 225 in the third innings and 168 in the fourth innings can be expected.
There is a 40% chance of rain predicted on the opening day of the fourth Test in Manchester. The temperature is expected to be below 20 degrees Celsius. Also, there is heavy rain predicted on the final two days of the Test.
Harry Brook will remain at number five while Moeen Ali will come to bat at no 3 just like he did in the Headingley. Anderson, who has the third-highest number of Test wickets of all time, was dropped for the third Test after taking just three wickets for 226 runs in the first two matches of the series. Mark Wood, Chris Woakes, and Stuart Broad will be in the rest of the bowling lineup, alongside Anderson.
Wood and Woakes both made their first appearance in the series in the third Test match and had a brilliant outing. Wood took seven wickets and scored 40 runs off 16 balls in the match, while Woakes took six and scored 42 including the winning runs. England will hope that Anderson is able to get back to the rhythm at his home ground during the fourth Ashes Test.
There are no other changes to the team with the rest eight keeping their places. Also, this will be the first time in 11 years that an Australian cricket team will play a Test match without a specialist spinner in their ranks. The last time this happened was when the Aussies faced India at the WACA in January 2012.
The visitors have loads of batters for the 4th Test at Old Trafford. Green is listed to bat at seven, which might push wicket-keeper batter Alex Carey to eight. This will be followed by Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood. Australia have players who can bat until ten, where Starc might come.