MELBOURNE, January 13
England had already lost the series but at least rediscovered their stomach for a fight in Sydney and the battered tourists will look to produce a similar gutsy display in the final Ashes Test against Australia tomorrow.
Australia retained the urn with comprehensive victories in Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne and while England managed to halt the juggernaut in Sydney, it was not without a price.
Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler’s tour was cut short by a finger injury, while all-rounder Ben Stokes (side) and middle-order batsman Jonny Bairstow (finger) are doubtful for the pink-ball Test in Hobart after getting bruised in Sydney.
England are ready to play Stokes and stumper-batsman Bairstow purely as batsmen with Sam Billings likely to don the keeping gloves in his Test debut.
Captain Joe Root has insisted on putting “some pride back into the badge” but they are struggling to put together a playing XI that can replicate their steely display in Sydney. — Reuters
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