Sunday 17 December 2017 / 01:34 PM

Ashes: How Australia Can Win the 4th Test

With the 3rd Test washout leaving a sour taste in mouths across Australia, it is worth having a look at the areas where the Aussies have been successful and where they can improve for the 4th Test in Durham.

Yes, Australia dominated the match at Old Trafford. Many English fans would agree. However, the lack of batting firepower when Michael Clarke fails to score is still alarming.

It is no coincidence that the first time Clarke has really produced in this series, Australia has dominated the match. Opener Chris Rogers and middle order batsman Steve Smith both made handy contributions, but the innings was based around Clarke. The skipper will fail again in one of his next four innings at the very least. A Shane Watson or Usman Khawaja ton will be necessary to steer the ship.

It remains clear that Australia’s biggest strength lies in the fast bowling stocks. Ryan Harris has never had a bad Test match, Peter Siddle always seems to get something out of a dead wicket, and Mitchell Starc can produce some fantastic spells when necessary. Harris and Siddle in particular have caused some clear discomfort for the English top order. Together they have nearly 70% of the top order wickets, an area where England had a clear advantage heading into the series.

Nathan Lyon struggled to threaten the English batsmen in the 1st innings and they took full advantage. The few overs he managed to bowl on the final day were impressive as some grip and turn really started to show. Selecting him in the side for the upcoming Test should be a no brainer – he will be raring for another chance.

It is not all doom and gloom for the Aussies ahead of the 4th Test despite being 2-0 down. If a couple of decisions had gone in their favour at Trent Bridge then the series could well be all square.

Clarke has repeatedly said, “If we play how we know we can play, we will win Test matches.”

This couldn’t hold more truth, with Australia needing to capitalise on the way they played in the 3rd Test by turning out a result in the 4th.

With the recent newsbreak surrounding the silicon tape scandal, all eyes will be on Durham Friday night (Australian time) as the Aussies look to strike back. Hopefully they can finally turn Clarke’s words into a successful prophecy.

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Sam Phillips

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