England on brink of winning back the Ashes
An oscillating, unpredictable series swung back England’s way with an eight-wicket win inside three days at Edgbaston last week, putting the hosts 2-1 up against Australia. One victory for the English in the final two matches will see them regain the Ashes.
The momentum is on England’s side -- although that may not be a reliable guide.
The team’s record over the last seven tests reads as follows: Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Win. Loss. Win. No other team is test history has registered such a bizarre sequence. “We are consistently the most inconsistent side,” England bowler Stuart Broad said. “We have to change that.”
If they succeed in doing so at Trent Bridge, England will have won a fourth straight Ashes series on home soil. That’s no mean feat considering the Australians arrived in Britain in June as the heavy favorites and still buoyant from a 5-0 whitewash of their old foes Down Under 18 months ago.
However, cracks are appearing in what was initially viewed as a tight unit. Players are struggling for form with the bat notably captain Michael Clarke, with just 94 runs in six innings this series and paceman Mitchell Johnson is carrying the bowling attack.
Australia showed its class in a 405-run win in the second <g data-gr-id="39">test,</g> but was thrashed in the first and third tests. “We need to really improve in this game,” Johnson said. “It’s like a grand final for us.” Trent Bridge is known to be a swing bowler’s paradise, which makes the absence of paceman Jimmy Anderson all the more tough to take for England.