AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, TARVAGH: Australia is heading into the last game of the season, which begins on Friday night.
The Aussies are currently third in the ICC’s World Twenty20 rankings and have a chance to qualify for the semi-finals.
The series starts at 3pm local time on Saturday and it’s unclear whether the Aussians will face a fourth-straight defeat.
The last game was the longest of the Ashes and the series is now at its peak, with the teams having played three more games in the last 10 days.
Australia are still chasing a record third consecutive Ashes series win and are now looking to secure a record sixth consecutive Test victory, which they need to secure to win the series.
Australia have been without the services of their captain Michael Clarke, who has been on a run of injury.
The 25-year-old is due to undergo surgery in the coming days to remove a blood clot in his ankle, which is not expected to be a major issue.
However, Clarke is one of the key figures in Australia’s squad and has been the most influential player for the side this Ashes campaign.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has been vocal in his criticism of Clarke, and it was a significant blow to his captain.
“He’s a fantastic, incredible player and he was the reason why we had a brilliant campaign last year and we’re obviously disappointed that he’s not there for the next couple of years,” Lehmann said.
In his opening Test match against South Africa in Adelaide on Saturday, Clarke failed to make an impact, and the Australian batsmen were left to wonder how they could rely on their batsman.
After an off-day on Friday, Australia’s captain, Mitchell Starc, was asked about Clarke.
“The one thing we need to be clear about is we know he’s a great captain, a great man, a good friend and we know we’ve got to get him back as soon as possible,” Starc said.
“I know it’s tough, but he’s been a great player for us, a really, really good captain for us and he’s one of our pillars in this team.”
If he’s ready to step in, it’s something we’re all looking forward to.
We’re going to miss him.
The Ashes will be Australia’s last Test of the series against India.
If Clarke’s not ready, we’re going back to the drawing board.
“While it’s not clear whether the Australian squad will be able to play for Australia in the semi finals, it seems as though the team will be hoping to play the last Test match before the series ends on Thursday night.
Despite a record-breaking Ashes series, there are still some big questions to answer ahead of the tour.
Australia is looking to play its first match at the Gabba against England in a series which has become an increasingly important fixture in the team’s preparations for the series ahead.
There will be a lot of focus on the team in the first game, with England the team that has been leading the way at the WACA.
England are currently the only team with two Test matches remaining, with both games at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
With the Ashes on the horizon, it will be fascinating to see how the team performs in those first two games.
As well as the Test series, the Australian tour will also include the tour of South Africa, where they will play the visiting New Zealanders.
Australian players and staff will be taking part in a special ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Twitter, where the questions will be answered live.
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