PREVIEW | 2023 Men’s Ashes: 5th Test

AUSTRALIA returns to the scene of its World Test Championship (WTC) victory tomorrow for the fifth Ashes Test, having recently retained the urn in rather anticlimactic fashion. We take you through all you need to know before the opening ball is bowled at The Oval in London.


When: Thursday July 27 – Monday July 31
Where: The Oval, London
Watch: Channel Nine
Listen: ABC Grandstand, SEN


Australia leads England 2-1.

Australia has the chance to take out its first away Ashes series since 2001. A win or draw would do the trick, but an England victory would even the ledger at 2-2 – the exact same scoreline as in 2019. Australia has held the coveted urn since winning it back on home turf in 2018.



Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner


Ben Stokes (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

Mitchell Starc (middle) favours a sore shoulder | Image Credit: Getty Images


Though the turnaround from Old Trafford is relatively short, two consecutive days of rain will undoubtedly aid the management of either sides’ bowling stocks. Injury clouds hover over quicks in both camps and it looks like changes are afoot for the fifth Test.

Mitchell Starc (shoulder) and allrounder Mitch Marsh (soreness) will have to prove their fitness for game five, but the Australian camp is relatively confident in their availability. Although, things may still be shaken up at the selection table.

Seamer Michael Neser will come into calculations given his recent County form, while Scott Boland‘s efforts in the WTC final should be in the back of mind. Spin was also a factor in The Oval’s latest Test, so Todd Murphy is in line for a recall despite Australia backing its decision to axe him in Manchester.

England’s oldest seam attack in almost a century may also be rejigged in the trip back to London. Chris Woakes faces a race against time to get up, while James Anderson‘s form will likely bring about a tough call. It means either or both of Josh Tongue and Ollie Robinson could attract a call-up.

Things look much more stable with regards to the batting groups of both teams, as has been the case all series long. Though Australia may have to choose between allrounders Marsh and Cameron Green, opener David Warner has been given the green light and recently laughed off retirement talk.



David Warner

It seems as though a big score is just around the corner for Warner, who has consistently produced starts without going on with it. He has passed 25 five times this series for a single half-century (66 at Lord’s), and has a history of faring well with his back against the wall. Given the Ashes have been retained, a release of pressure may give Warner the freedom to find his best form.

Harry Brook has the potential to go big in game five | Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images


Harry Brook

Much like Warner, albeit with greater success, Brook has teased a big score without yet going on with it. He has three 50’s to his name this series and top-scored in England’s successful chase at Headingley, finding his feet with each passing innings. He suits Bazball to a tee and with such an aggressive approach, could be the man to take this match away from Australia.


Don’t go calling this one a dead rubber. England has all the momentum and with the opportunity to rob Australia of a series victory, will likely free their arms in typical fashion. The tourists have seldom been challenged as much as in the last two Tests, so this will be another tough ask. England to level the series.


1st Test: Edgbaston | Australia won by 2 wickets
2nd Test: Lord’s | Australia won by 43 runs
3rd Test: Headingley | England won by 3 wickets
4th Test: Old Trafford | Match Drawn
5th Test: The Oval | Thursday July 27 – Monday July 31

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