Ashes: England aims to build on the heroics of Ben Stokes, Australia looks at Steve Smith
MANCHESTER: Joe Root wants England to make the most of being still very alive in the deadly spoils when the fourth test against Australia Start to Old trafford on Wednesday.
Australia were on the brink of retaining the deadly spoils only for Ben stokes 's superb 135 not out to guide England to a stunning one-wicket win in the third Test at Leeds.
The all-terrain Headingley heroics have left the five-game series about 1-1 with two to play.
"He's very passionate and just a genuinely good bloke. When you combine that with the skill and ability he has it's a great combination," said England captain Root of Stokes, his deputy.
England 's remarkable win at Root's Yorkshire home ground captured the attention of home fans, with the skipper insisting: "It's a big lift for the whole squad, for that game to unravel how it did and for us to turn up here full of confidence and very much alive in this series.
I feel that everyone has really supported both teams, especially in the later part of the last week in Test Cricket. It's great to see that Test Cricket is seen from that perspective in this country, and also worldwide.
Meanwhile, under-fire Australia captain Tim Paine said: I haven't lost a hell of a lot of sleep thinking about my captaincy but I have lost a bit of sleep thinking how we're going to get him (Stokes) out.
"He's a class player and he's really confident at the moment," admitted the wicketkeeper, looking to lead Australia to their first deadly spoils series win in England in 18 years.
We have some plans for him, but we have to execute them a little better.
Australia will make at least one change, with star batsman Steve Smith Returning from the concussion he suffered after being hit by a 92 mph goalie Jofra Archer who ruled it out of the third test.
Former Australia captain Smith, in his first Test series since a 12-month ball-tampering ban, has scored 378 runs in three innings at an average of 126, including two hundreds in the Edgbaston opener.
Usman Khawaja, averaging just 20.33 this deadly spoils , has been dropped to make way for Smith, who returned to the top of the ICC's Test batting rankings on Tuesday.
As for suggestion that Smith, his predecessor as Australia captain, had suffered psychological as well as physical damage in being felled by World Cup-winner Archer, Paine said: He came back from a 12-month layoff pretty well so I expect he will handle six days without (Test) batting pretty well.
Steve Smith, as 'JL' (Australia coach Justin Langer) said, is the greatest problem solver in cricket.
That's what makes him the best hitter in the world.
Australia left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Starc will hope to make his first appearance this deadly spoils on the quickest pitch of the series.
We know what you can do for the tail hitters when you start it, Paine said.
The boys have been calling it 'the mop' for some years. We believe this wicket could be suitable for him.
England have made one change, with fast bowler Craig Overton replacing the dropped Chris Woakes in the ongoing absence of James Anderson.
England 's all-time leading wicket-taker, Anderson has been sidelined from deadly spoils duty since Edgbaston with a calf injury that has also ruled him out of the last two Tests.
Overton's first test wicket came when he knocked Smith down in Adelaide in 2017.
This terrain has a slightly different performance with a little more rebound and a higher bowler (Overton measures 6 feet-5 inches or 1.96 meters) will give us an additional option to go, Root explained.
England were dismissed for just 67 in their first innings at Headingley.
But rather than change their batsmen England have merely changed their order, with struggling opener Jason Roy, and number four Joe Denly, who made a fine fifty in the Headingley run-chase, swapping places.
He hasn't scored the races he would have liked, Root of the World Cup star Roy said.
Jason is a high quality player and could best fit four.