Aussies hoping hosts fall into pattern
AUSTRALIA may be a loss at Trent Bridge away from returning home without the most famous urn in world sport, but England's record suggests all is not lost.
In its past seven Tests this year, Alastair Cook's men have produced a win, loss, win, loss, win, loss, win sequence across series involving the West Indies, New Zealand and Australia.
Following the largely unexpected victory against the Aussies in the first Ashes Test in Cardiff, new coach Trevor Bayliss refused to get caught up in the general euphoria, suggesting the world's No.1 team would hit back hard at Lord's.
That view was proven correct, so it was no surprise after England's stunning victory on the third day at Edgbaston, that he repeated the warning ahead of the fourth Test which starts at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
"You don't have the success over a period of time that they (the Aussies) have had without being able to put those things behind you," the New South Welshman said.
"You look at the positives from our point of view and, using them as an example, we have also been able to come back, and hopefully in years to come we can have the success that the Australian team have had."
While the win-loss sequence is a plus for the tourists, a look further back into history gives England supporters cause for mild optimism.
Only once has Australia come from behind after three matches to win the series.
And the last time England won the third Test of the rubber, in 1981, it went on to claim the Ashes.
That suggests even if England was to lose at Trent Bridge, it would still fancy its chances of regaining the Ashes at The Oval.
"We will take 3-2," Bayliss said. "Obviously we want to win the next one and take the fifth game out of it. We'll certainly be playing to win the next match.
"Some of the Australians will be under pressure - and hopefully we will be able to build on that pressure in the next match and not let them up off the floor."
The players under the most pressure are skipper Michael Clarke and middle-order batsman Adam Voges.
Speculation suggests Shaun Marsh could come into the line-up for Voges, but coach Darren Lehmann said Clarke who has scored 94 runs at an average of 18.8 in the series, would retain his spot, although he could drop down to No.5.
"Michael Clarke gets as long as he needs - he is captain," Lehmann said.
"If he wants to bat five because of the team make-up, so be it. It is his decision and we will support that."
England has already confirmed seamer James Anderson would miss the next Test, with Mark Wood, Liam Plunkett and Mark Footit in contention.
- APN SPORTS BUREAU