England have selected an unchanged squad for the third Ashes Test, taking place in Perth, with Johnny Bairstow moved up the order to bat at six.
Craig Overton has kept his place in the team after winning his first cap in the second Test, while Moeen Ali is swapping with Bairstow in the order to bat at seven.
England are trailing Australia 2 – 0 in the five-Test series and they can’t afford to lose another Test if they are to win the series. Statistics aren’t on the team’s side, they have lost their last seven Tests in Perth and have not won at the WACA since 1978.
Off-field disciplinary issues overshadowed England’s preparations for the third Test and England Lions player, Ben Duckett, was recently suspended and fined for pouring a drink over Jimmy Anderson during a night out.
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) December 14, 2017
The team captain, Joe Root, believes that the incident was “blown out of proportion” but has called on his teammates to maintain focus on the field and fight their way back into the series.
“It’s been frustrating, very frustrating,” Root said. “In the obvious circumstances and position we’re in, guys have made silly mistakes that of course are going to get blown out of proportion. [But] we’ve probably got one of the biggest games of our lives coming up on Thursday, [and] we have to get it right.”
Australia are expected to make some changes to their line-up as they look to win the series with two Tests to spare.
Mitchell Marsh will replace batsman Peter Handscomb in the middle order but Australian selectors will wait to assess conditions before the team is announced. Their captain, Steve Smith, has hinted that Marsh will get Handscomb’s position but said it is only because they need another bowler.