The Ashes Preview: Australia eye historic series win at The Oval
July 26, 2023
The final 2023 Ashes Test kicks off tomorrow night (8:00pm AEST) at Kennington’s The Oval with Australia fresh off an urn-retaining washout in Manchester and targeting their first series win on English soil in over two decades.
Zak Crawley’s better than a run a ball 189 at Old Trafford helped boost England into the box seat after the visitors slumped to a first-innings total of just 317.
A second-innings Marnus Labuschagne ton dragged the Australians within 61 runs of England’s monstrous lead before rain wiped out much of Day 4 and the entirety of Day 5.
The hosts enter the final Test match in pursuit of a 2-2 series draw and fuelled by a sense that they were robbed of a dominant victory in Manchester if not for the weather.
Todd Murphy is tipped to earn a recall for Australia after Pat Cummins’ side entered a Test match without a recognised spinner for the first time in 11 years following Nathan Lyon’s series-ending calf issue.
Murphy’s inclusion will likely come at the expense of Mitchell Marsh – who was unable to bowl on Day 3 at Manchester due to soreness – or Cameron Green – who missed the third Test with a hamstring niggle.
In his four innings with the bat this series, Marsh has hit 118, 28, 51 and 31* and, in three bowling innings, has taken a pair of wickets for a total of 89 runs.
Green, meanwhile, has averaged just 20.60 in six innings with the bat and has taken five wickets for 235 total runs.
England will enter the final Test with the same XI that put together a strong performance in Manchester despite whispers that soon-to-be 41-year-old Jimmy Anderson may be overlooked.
The last six Tests between the two sides at The Oval have ended in two England wins, two Australia wins, and a pair of draws with the most recent meeting being the fifth Test of the 2019 series in which Jofra Archer claimed Player of the Match honours to draw the series.
England enter the clash as favourites with bookmakers expecting Australia’s 22-year Ashes series victory drought on English soil to continue.