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Ashes 5th Test, AUS vs ENG Fantasy Preview, Predictions and MPL Top Picks

Match: Ashes 5th Test, Australia vs England (AUS vs ENG)

Date: January 14, Friday   

Venue: Bellerive Oval, Hobart, Australia

The fifth and final Test of the 2021-22 Ashes will begin on Friday, January 14 at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. Not too many things have gone right for the visitors on this tour, but to have been able to draw the New Year’s Test will give them some confidence.

Australia, who are leading the series 3-0, failed to pick up the last wicket on day five of the fourth Test, and subsequently also missed the chance of a whitewash. Despite being faced with a few injury concerns this Ashes series, Australia have not made too many mistakes. Usman Khawaja, who played his first Test in more than two years in Sydney and scored back to back centuries, has been retained for the fifth Test and will be opening alongside David Warner. Meanwhile, Travis Head is returning to the team after finishing his Covid19 isolation period and recovering from the virus.

For England, Jos Buttler has flown home, which could make way for Sam Billings in the XI. Ollie Robinson, who missed the SCG Test due to a shoulder niggle, is all set to return and might replace Jack Leach in the line-up.

Ahead of the fifth and final Test, let’s look at the head to head total of both the teams, the weather report, top fantasy picks and more.

Weather update and pitch report for AUS vs ENG, 5th Ashes Test

The pitch at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart is expected to be tilted in favour of the batters, but fast bowlers also enjoy their time here.  The average 1st innings score at this venue in the last four matches is 305 runs, and the toss-winning captain is likely to bat first. Of the 13 Tests played here, eight have been won by the team batting first. The highest and lowest total recorded here is 583-4 and 85-10.

As for the weather in Hobart tomorrow, it is going to be cloudy all through the day and the game could be interrupted by rain. The temperature will be between 22 and 15 degree Celsius.

Australia team news and predicted XI

Team news: As aforementioned, Usman Khawaja will continue to open, for which Marcus Harris has been dropped. Australia’s bowling has been much superior to that of England this series – Mitchell Starc has played all the four Tests and will be featuring in the fifth one too. The likes of Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson and Scott Boland have all done a wonderful job with the ball.

Predicted XI: Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland or Jhye Richardson

England team news and predicted XI

Team news: While Buttler is back home, there are concerns over the fitness of all-rounder Ben Stokes and batter Jonny Bairstow as well. If Stokes plays, he is unlikely to serve as an all-rounder but only as a batter.

Predicted XI: Haseeb Hameed or Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow or Ollie Pope, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Jack Leach or Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.

Head to head total

Australia and England have played 355 Test matches between them, of which Australia have won 149 and England 110. 96 games were drawn. In Australia, the two sides have played 184 Tests, with the hosts winning 98, England 57 and 29 games ending in a draw.

Ashes 5th Test: Five players to watch out for

Here we list five players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI for AUS vs ENG, 5th Ashes Test

Joe Root – All-rounder, England

The England skipper scored a half-century each in the first, second and third Test, but a lot more has been expected out of him. Root has 277 runs in eight innings this series, and will be looking to convert his starts into a century in the fifth and final Test. With a career average of almost 50 in Tests, the batter can certainly be expected to produce a top knock in Hobart. One of the best red-ball players in the world, Root has 9555 runs in 208 innings, which is inclusive of 23 centuries and 53 fifties.

Usman Khawaja – Batter, Australia

The Sydney Test was Usman Khawaja’s first Test in two years, but he ended it with the Player of the Match award. The opener etched a new record under his name by becoming only the third player in history to hit a ton in both innings of a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Twin centuries helped him retain his spot in the playing XI for the next game, while Marcus Harris has been left out. In all, Khawaja has played 45 Tests, from which he has 3125 runs at an average of 43.40. This includes 10 centuries.

Marnus Labuschagne – Batter, Australia

Marnus Labuschange scored a half-century in the first Test, which was followed by another half-century and a century in the second Test. However, his form dipped in the third and fourth Test where he managed only 58 runs in three innings. The right-hander, who averages a brilliant 58.67 in his 22-match Test career, will be looking to end the series with another big knock. He is currently the series’ highest run-scorer with 286 runs in seven innings at an average of 47.66.

Mitchell Star – Bowler, Australia

With 15 wickets in eight innings, Mitchell Starc is the second-highest wicket-taker of the series so far and a must-have player in your MPL fantasy team. Almost all of Australia’s bowlers have done well with the ball, and you can also include the likes of Nathan Lyon (16 wickets in 7 innings), Scott Boland (14 wickets in four innings) and Pat Cummins (14 wickets in six innings) in your fantasy team.

Ollie Robinson – Bowler, England

Ollie Robinson is England’s highest wicket-taker this series with nine wickets in five innings. James Anderson has also picked up eight wickets in five innings. But news has it that Anderson will be rested for the final Test.

MPL fantasy XI –AUS vs ENG, 5th Ashes Test

Australia vs England, 5th Ashes Test: Where and what time to watch the match live in India 

The Australia vs England Ashes Test series will be streamed live on the Sony Sports Network in India. You can also watch the online streaming of the game on the Sony Liv app. The match will start at 8.00 AM IST on Friday, January 14.

Also read: Top 10 Fastest Bowlers in Cricket History

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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