• Sunday, December 03, 2023


Ashes Test: England win toss and opt to bowl

The hosts are now 2-0 down after the Lord’s defeat

England’s Mark Wood celebrates with Moeen Ali after taking the wicket of Australia’s Usman Khawaja. Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

By: Pramod Thomas

THE first boos of the day came before a ball had even been bowled as England won the toss and put Australia in to bat in the crucial third Ashes test at Headingley on Thursday (6).

As soon as Australia captain Pat Cummins appeared on the big screen, just after losing the toss on day one, a theme was set for the match, with England fans still evidently angry about events in the controversial second test at Lord’s less than a week ago.

Supporter frustration has not been helped by the predicament England find themselves in. Coming into this five-match Ashes series in fine form, the hosts are now 2-0 down after the Lord’s defeat.

No team has come back from 2-0 to win an Ashes series since a Don Bradman-inspired Australia in 1936-37, but there is still hope for England, given how close-run both matches have been to date.

The manner of the defeat, with the controversial stumping of Jonny Bairstow which stoked scenes of rare animosity for test cricket, has only intensified the desire for an incredible comeback.

Supporters will be doing their part, setting out their stall early with the reception for Cummins.

Australia have made three changes to their starting line-up — the same number as England — for the pivotal test in the Leeds sunshine, as Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy and Scott Boland come in.


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