The Ashes 2019 – Fourth Test: The Old Trafford Blog



Ben Stokes! Ben Stokes! Ben Stokes!


That name will be cemented on the mind of all Aussie cricket lovers forever, whether we like it or not!


It’ll never go away, and Stokes is now every Aussie’s worst nightmare!


Singlehandedly he has turned this Ashes series around and the Poms are back in the hunt, their confidence will be sky high, and obviously the Aussies  shattered and  deflated after losing the unlosable test.


Time to move on, regroup and look to the future; the future is winning the Fourth Test commencing next Wednesday.


What changes should be made?


Obviously Smith comes into the team but at whose expense? Harris, or perhaps Wade or Khawaja?


And what about the bowlers?


Starc must be feeling really nasty and champing at the bit at the moment. There should be a lot of fire in his belly after being overlooked for 3 Tests and he must be  raring to go.


Time to rest Simmons?


Is there a spot for a big hitter a la Stokes, Mitch Marsh?


These questions and many more  the selectors will ponder  as  indeed will the punters.


So Almanackers, what do you think?


Can we win it?


Have your say on all things cricket, join in the conversations, or just have an enjoyable read, it’s here on The Footy Almanac Fourth Test The Old Trafford Blog.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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  1. John Butler says

    I’ll go first.

    Harris out for Smith. Ussie to open. Marnus at 3.

    Starc in for Pattinson.

    We’re still a huge chance. England’s batting is all over the place. Talking about Denly now opening. Roy to 4. Which still leaves Root at his non-proffered 3 slot. Anderson gone for the series, so a lot depends on Broad and Archer.

    Bring it on!

  2. JB, I’m with you on our side. Pity Carey cannot be keeper as Paine MUST be retained as captain.

  3. It’s a shame that JM Anderson is gone for the series.
    (Maybe even gone from Test cricket).
    You like to play the best.

    Pretty clear that these are still two middling teams, both with areas of weakness.

    VERY NERVOUS with reports of MR Marsh being considered for the Australian Test XI in 2019.
    I even read that MR Marsh was being considered to take the place of MS Wade(!). Something about right-handers. (
    Hopefully Test and First Class runs records are considered, too.

  4. TD Paine remains captain as long as I have anything to do with it.

  5. John Butler says

    Interesting that Hohns has just decided Broad and co bowl well to left handers, after they picked a squad packed with left handers.

  6. Well gang MR MARSH (MARSHMELLOW) didn’t make the cut. MRS MARSH (she of toothpaste fame a few years back) had a much better chance of making the team

  7. John Butler says

    Thankfully Starc is back in. Time to fight Archer fire with a little fire of our own.

    Interesting move from England to include Overton at the expense of Woakes. Seems curious on the surface of it.

    We’re batting. It’s cold. Generally doesn’t swing when it’s cold. But will it seam?

  8. John Butler says

    Horrible from Warner. He looks mentally shot at this point.

    Pressure on two inexperienced test batsmen now.

    Joe Burns would have been handy.

  9. Colin Ritchie says

    Terrible from Warner, a batsman out of form, and a batsman out of confidence.

  10. Colin Ritchie says

    Lunch, bedtime for me! Smith & Labuschagne looking good, need to both go on and make a big score!

  11. Australia will be happy. Especially after 2-29.

    Mixed bag from England. Will Archer fire up after lunch?

  12. I reckon we take that. Labuschagne in great touch. Warner under great torch.

  13. Luke Reynolds says

    The contributions of Labuschagne have come as a complete surprise. He’s way better than I thought. Big second session coming up.

  14. Mark Duffett says

    If we get a second session. Never a good sign when the broadcaster cuts from a view of damp covers and resorts to the archive.

  15. Interestingly poised completely agree with,Luke have been stunned re Labuschange hopefully
    Smith and Head go on with it tonight if Smith goes early a score of 250 odd is on the cards

  16. English summer weather a joke. Litter flying everywhere didn’t make for a good spectacle. Smith and Labushange bloody fantastic but what to do with Warner?

    Let’s hope Smith and Head can stick together and post a big score – assuming the fickle Pommie weather allows enough time tonight.

    Impressed with Broad’s bowling. I hope Starc’s radar is on the money when he gets to send down a few.

  17. Colin Ritchie says

    Bombers playing tonight, day 2 of the 4th Test, what more can someone ask for?
    A Bombers win, and a Smith ton of course!
    The remote will be working overtime tonight!

  18. It’s lunch time and Smith has indeed scored an unbeaten (so far) century. Who can stay with the little champ is the burning question?

    Too tired to stay up but just switched to the AFL – Bombers not looking good for a win so far. It’s off to bed for me, Mrs Fisho has already hit the sack.

  19. Just finished brekky and turned on the computer to discover the results. Steve Smith is unbelievable – what an inspiration. How I wish the doyen of cricket commentators, Richie Benaud was still alive and could see how great this young cricketer has become.

    Great to see Paine in the runs again (he’s finally got over his constipation at the crease) to give Smithy must needed support. Wish I could have seen Starc and Lyno throw the bat as our innings came to a close.

    Now it’s up to the bowlers – please don’t let this one slip.

  20. Rain, rain go away, come again another day.. Bloody Pommy summer. Off to bed for me just when the cricket got under way. All was not lost however, for I saw the bulk of the Collingwood v Geelong final.

    As i write this, its now well into Saturday morning and I’ve just caught up with the cricket. Hazelwood fantastic with 4 wickets and Poms 5 wickets down for 200. According to reports, Starc’s radar will need to improve.

    Now the lads have got them down, let’s keep them there. Keep cool – no panicing

  21. It would appear “The reign with Paine has much to gain” Let’s hope so anyhow..

  22. Roger Lowrey says

    Two comments.

    First, have we all underestimated Hazelwood a bit? I mean, the bloke comes in dumdy dumdy dumdy dumdy dumdy bowl. But he hits his spot where he needs to most times. I am very impressed.

    Secondly, I am probably not the first to observe this but how good was Smith picking the gaps in field placements?

    How many boundaries did he get with two fielders throwing themselves together with the ball blissfully bisecting the pair of therm?

  23. After enduring the last half hour before lunch, you could be excused for thinking that the Aussies were attempting once more to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – no balls, wides, byes, loose deliveries and another wasted review

    Let’s hope the lads regroup after a good feed. It’s off to bed for me now.

  24. Well, the chaps certainly did regroup, Starc and Cummins leading the charge. With a handy lead, the Aussies opened with , would you believe, another Warner duck, his third in a row. Before long the Aussies were in trouble at 4 for 44.

    It was then time for Steve Smith, with a little help from Wade, to come to the rescue (again) with an astonishing 82. Producing some astonishing shots, some reminiscent of baseball swots, Smith astounded the Poms, especially the commentators. Then captain Paine inflicted more pain by suddenly declaring (while he was still at the crease) to set up a crack at the English before stumps.

    Would you believe Cummins took 2 wickets in the opening over, having Root bowled for a golden duck .At 2 for 18 or as the Poms say 18 for 2, the pressure is now on the English.

    Come on Aussie, come on

  25. This is going to hold the attention for a long time. Eight good deliveries.

  26. Would you believe that. Seconds after posting and Cummins breaks through.

  27. Two more Cummins wickets in the morning session gives him all 4 wickets to fall so far. Aussies feeling stoked now that Stokes is out (for 1). Can the Poms hold out? It would appear an English win this time around is out of the question.

    The question must be asked – what to do with Warner, he’s been completely broadsided the whole series.

  28. So happy for TD Paine.
    So happy for PD Cummins and the rest as well.
    Men of humility and perspective, humour and passion, showing a new way to win.
    No need for chest-beating.
    No need to fall into despair when defeated (acknowledge the loss, acknowledge an extraordinary innings from BA Stokes, and get on with it.)

    Many parallels with the leadership and approach of TD Paine (and his appointment), with other aspects of modern life. So pleased that Australian men’s cricket seems to have caught up.
    Nice guys win.

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