The Ashes 2021/22, fifth Test: Preview, fantasy tips, likely XIs

Authored by
Thu, 13/01/2022
Steven Smith
Image Credit

The fifth and final Test of the Ashes 2021/22 will get underway on 14 January at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. This will be the first pink-ball Test match at this venue.

Australia are currently 3-0 up in the series and will look to match their 2017/18 outcome of 4-0. Captain Pat Cummins has confirmed that Travis Head will return to his familiar No. 5 position after recovering from Covid-19. His last-match replacement Usman Khawaja, who hit twin hundreds in Sydney, will open the innings in Hobart, with David Warner.

Scott Boland injured his ribs in Sydney and is now a doubtful starter in Hobart. If he misses out, Jhye Richardson is likely to replace him. Steven Smith, who has not had a great series (217 at an average of 36.16) so far, will hope to finish on a high.

Aided by rain, England saved themselves from a 0-5 whitewash with a hard-fought draw in Sydney. They have been brutally hit by Australia in the series, and are unlikely to pull one back. With Jos Buttler returning home with an injury, Sam Billings is set to make his Test debut to don the big gloves behind the wicket.

England may also recall Rory Burns at the top to open with Zak Crawley. Ollie Pope is expected to be back at No. 5 as well, although Joe Root stated both injured Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow may play as specialist batters.

England will rely on the returning Ollie Robinson for wickets. With 30 scalps at 22.73, Robinson is currently the leading wicket-taker of the World Test Championship (before Day 3 of the third Test between South Africa and India) and will be looking to take more to help his side end the tour with a positive result.

Likely XIs

Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Alex Carey (wk), Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cam Green, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jhye Richardson

England: Joe Root (c), Sam Billings (wk), Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson.

Betway Fantasy Tips

- Bank on fast bowlers from either side for wickets. Make Cummins captain and Robinson vice-captain.

- Khawaja, Smith, Labuschagne and Root are the must-have batters in your fantasy XI.

- Among wicket-keepers, include Billings and overlook Carey.

Fantasy XI

Pat Cummins (c), Ollie Robinson (vc), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Joe Root, Cam Green, Mitchell Starc, Jimmy Anderson, Jhye Richardson and Mark Wood.