England will be keen to clinch the series against a struggling Australia as we head to the third Test of The Ashes at Old Trafford on Thursday, with the hosts leading 2-0. The Aussies, on the other hand, will be desperate to stage some sort of a comeback and keep the series alive.

Ian Bell has been in great form

Where to Watch Third Test Live

Play at Lord's starts at 11am BST, with live television coverage on Sky Sports Ashes. Live radio commentary is available on BBC Radio 5 live extra and BBC Radio 4 Long Wave.


After posting a crushing 347-run win in the second Test at Lord's, England now lead the five-match series 2-0. Alastair Cook's men only need to avoid defeat in Manchester to keep hold of the urn, as a drawn series will see holders retain the title.

Meanwhile, Australia, who came into this series following a 4-0 loss in India earlier this year, have to start winning in Manchester, if they ope to regain the Ashes. It is also a matter of pride for the tourists, as they have now suffered six successive Tests defeats for the first time in nearly three decades.

England enter this match high on confidence with Ian Bell in great form with the bat. Joe Root peaked in the second Test, while Jonathan Trott and Jonny Bairstow have chipped in with good scores when needed. James Anderson was the star bowler in the first Test by clinching ten wickets, while Graeme Swann got nine in the second. Tim Bresnan also bowled well at Lord's.

Top-order batting has been Australia's Achilles heel for some time now and it was proved so again in the big defeat at Lord's, where the tourists were bowled out for just 128 in their first innings. Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja were the only batsmen who managed to get going in the second Test. Ryan Harris showed some good form with the ball, clinching seven wickets in the match.

Form Guide


Last five Tests (most recent first): W W W W D

Last match: England beat Australia by 347 runs at Lord's


Last five Tests (most recent first): L L L L L

Last match: Australia lost to England by 347 runs at Lord's


Another really dry surface is on the offer, with cracks expected to surface as the match wears on. There will be some bounce that will please both the batsmen and the pacers alike. Forecast for the week has been intermittent rain.

Team News

England: Kevin Pietersen still remains a major fitness doubt for the hosts, following a calf strain. If the veteran is not ready, young James Taylor will come in to the side. Monty Panesar is also hopeful of getting the nod but Bresnan's performance in the last match, plus his batting skills, make a change in the bowling attack unlikely.

Probable Line-up: Cook (c), Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior (wk), Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson

Australia: David Warner is set to return to the side, following his century for Australia A in South Africa, with either Phillip Hughes or the injured Steve Smith expected to make way. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon are expected to replace the injured James Pattinson and Ashton Agar.

Probable Line-up: Watson, Rogers, Khawaja, Clarke (c), Smith, Warner, Haddin (wk), Siddle, Starc, Harris, Lyon