3rd Ashes test hit by reports of match-fixing, ICC to probe

Tricia Pearson
December 14, 2017

The Australians claimed a 2-0 lead in the series with a decisive 120-run victory in the first-ever Day/Night Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval.

But the England captain described Anderson's comments as "harsh", arguing that global bowlers should be able to adapt to conditions and work out a correct length for themselves, out on the field.

"It doesn't bother us - it's nothing to do with us", he said. We have to be smarter, react quicker. "I can completely see how captaincy can take its toll". But the containing length that England chose to bowl at Brisbane in order to slow the Australian run-rate proved less effective at Adelaide, with a new pink ball that was moving around.

"When it is as big a game as this, your senior players probably are under a little bit more pressure than the rest... because there is that expectation there, they've done it before and have all that experience to call upon". But we needed his bowling as well. "It was an oversight from the players on the field but also from the coaches who could have had an input too, which is frustrating". His departure at the end of the summer to become the new head coach of South Africa left a hole.

"I think the relationship has been really good", he said.

"Probably not as hard as I would have liked it to be a day out but 24 hours can change a wicket and we'll have another look in the morning", he told reporters after a test-eve inspection.

England are on the verge of a series defeat, and need to pull off at least a draw during the Perth Test to have any hope of retaining the urn. "We know what's at stake", he said.

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And that shows how deep the culture is there of the respect of each other. "Is it something we can repeat here?" I don't think so. Mourinho was left covered in water and milk as bottles were thrown , while punches were also thrown - although none landed.

England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root (capt), Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.

Recent alcohol-fuelled incidents involving wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and Ben Duckett, who is traveling with England's second-tier squad, have only added to the focus on off-field issues.

The announcement that the WACA would become a "boutique" venue, with major matches held at the newly built, 60,000-seater Optus Stadium - which will be inaugurated with an ODI against England next month - prompted Lillee to quit in protest.

It delayed Smith from naming his side, though he suggested Western Australia all-rounder Mitchell Marsh might be in line for a recall, most likely at the expense of number five batsman Peter Handscomb. Marsh's tidy seam bowling will ease the load on Australia's pacemen, and is a tacit admission that the wicket will be good for batting.

"As I said after the last Test our batters have all showed they can all actually play at this level but we've just got to do it for longer".

"Players are able to report any suspicions they have on a confidential basis and in the past there has been a strong Australian player culture to do so".

Australia captain Steve Smith has hinted Marsh will get the nod over Handscomb but insisted the latter was not being dropped due to a lack of form. They are only a couple of bad sessions away from the series going away from them.

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