Former Australian cricketer Michael Hussey has thought of some changes both the teams need to make ahead of the Boxing Day test match at MCG.
The hosts have taken a 2-0 lead in the series after their 275-run win in Adelaide. Hussey has backed Marcus Harris ahead of in form batsmen Usman Khawaja for the 3rd Ashes test. He believes that Harris must get another opportunity to prove himself at the MCG. The only change he wants Australia to make is to bring back full-time skipper Pat Cummins in the squad. Cummins will come in place of Michael Neser who made his debut at Adelaide.
“It’s a tough call. I think I would back Harris again. You know, he looked OK in the second innings here… Still enormous pressure on him and I am sure they’ll have that discussion behind closed doors. But he’s going to Melbourne, his home ground, he knows the conditions there well. When the team’s winning you can carry a player a bit longer,” Hussey said in an interview with Cricbuzz Chatter.
“Just one change for me, Pat Cummins obviously comes in and Michael Neser will have to step out. Not that Michael Neser didn’t do a good job but he was the last man in and so got to be the first man out,” the former batsmen added.
Australian captain Pat Cummins missed the Adelaide test as he was in close contact with a Covid positive patient. Cummins will play the MCG test after being in the quarantine for the past couple of days. He will be joined by Josh Hazlewood who missed the pink ball test due to a side strain.
Hussey suggested four changes for the three lions for the MCG test. Hussey feels England should leave openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed in order to win the third test.
“The openers aren’t getting the job done so I think they have to make one change there… I think Burns actually looked pretty good in the second innings here. Is that good enough to keep his place? Hameed’s hung in there and he’s done OK but he hasn’t been able to go on and score that big score… Perhaps someone like Zak Crawley can come into that position, he’s tall, he’s dominant and talking to Shane Warne, he says his game is suited to Australian conditions,” he added.
Hussey suggests England to add Zack Crawley into the squad as a substitute. Mike Hussey wants to see Johnny Bairstow in place of Ollie Pope in the middle order.
“I’ll also be looking at a change in the middle order. Let’s chat about Ollie Pope. Do you bring in someone with a bit more experience like Bairstow to come in and bat in the middle order there? Perhaps that’s something they can look at as well.”
Hussey wants to add the likes of Jack Leach and Mark Wood in the bowling attack. He wants them at the cost of Ollie Robinson and Stuart Broad.
“And then the attack – you got to get the balance right, get a bit more variety in that attack. I really hope they go back to Leach. They really need a front-line spinner there. I think they need some pace with Mark Wood back as well… I’d be going for one of Anderson and Broad, definitely Wood, definitely Leach and then you’ve got Stokes in there as well.”