Ashes 3rd Test 2019 preview: Headingley – 22 to 26 August, 2019
England have set up an exciting challenge at Headingley for the 3rd Ashes Test having come out honorably from the drawn game at Lords.
Ben Stokes's unbeaten 115 left the Australians to chase 267 from 48 overs on the final day of the second Test. But some hostile fast bowling from young debutant Jofra Archer and nagging spin from Jack Leach left the Australians tottering at 154-6 before the curtains came down for the Lord's Test.
Ashes 3rd Test Betting Tips
Where to Bet on the Ashes Cricket
The visitors' job on the final day of the fourth innings was made harder by the absence of key man Steve Smith due a concussion caused by a vicious Archer bouncer the previous afternoon.
Stokes played wonderfully for his seventh Test hundred, allowing Joe Root the luxury of declaring 266 ahead with 48 overs left in the day, but the real tension revealed itself as England pursued the win during a compelling fourth innings.
Archer provided the required hostility missing in the English attack in earlier games. He rattled the Aussies with his 90 mph-plus pace to finish with debut figures of 3 for 37.
Leach proved a brilliant foil with his left-arm orthodox spin scalping three for 32 runs.
Steve Smith who was ruled out of the fifth day of the second Ashes Test has been diagnosed with concussion and will not be allowed to train or play for six days which means he will be unavailable for the third Test at Headingly with only a couple of days to go.
Smith has by far been the best batsman in the series piling 382 runs from his three innings. But a huge cause for concern for the Australian batting will be the poor form of David Warner. The left-handed opener has managed just 18 runs from the 4 innings he has played so far. He and fellow opener Cameron Bancroft have scored a combined total of 62 runs. They will be under immense pressure to score runs. Otherwise there are suggestions that both could be dropped for the fourth test.
As for the visitor's bowling, much will rest on the shoulders of Pat Cummins who is the series' leading wicket-taker with 13 wickets to his name followed by Nathan Lyon with 12 wickets. The Aussies will be hoping for a situation where the hosts have to bat in the fourth innings on a turning track. Thus enabling Lyon to repeat the damage he did in the First Test with his six-wicket haul.
The English batting has been centering around Rory Burns who has scored 21 per cent of England's runs with Ben Stokes following him as the next best performing bat so far.
England's premier batsman Joe Root is still far below his best having managed a 14 & 0 in the second Test.
Root will have to fire if the hosts are contemplating a positive result at Headingly. Jason Roy and Jos Butler, both of whom have had an average series so far with the bat will have to step up, too.
As for the English bowling, the emergence of Archer and Leach provides a much-needed impetus to an attack that already has the likes of Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes in it.
With Smith out of the Australian side for the Headingley Test, the cricket bookmaker betting markets for top run scorer for Australia and this Test are wide open and with plenty of options available.
Recent Ashes Tests at Headingley
1985 – England won by 5 wickets
1989 – Australia won by 210 runs
1993 – Australia won by an Innings and 148 runs
1997 – Australia won by an Innings and 61 runs
2001 – England won by 6 wickets
2009 – Australia won by an Innings and 80 runs
Overall – 24 Tests – Australia 9 wins, England 7 wins, 8 drawn
England to win: 1.83
Australia to win: 2.75
(Bet365 Odds subject to change; correct as of 20/08/2019)
Rory Burns (England) has scored 53 and 133 runs in his last 2 first innings.
Jonny Bairstow (England) scored 52 and 30 not out in his last test match.
England’s Ben Stokes scored 115 runs in his last test innings.
Bairstow 50+ Runs @ 2.75 at bet365 (Odds subject to change; correct as of 20/08/2019)
Batsman to score 50+ Runs in First Innings Tip:
Rory Burns @ 3.20 at bet365 – (Odds subject to change; correct as of 20/08/2019)
Ben Stokes @ 13.00 at bet365 (Odds subject to change; correct as of 20/08/2019)