The fourth Test of the five match Ashes Series between Australia and England will get underway on Wednesday, 5th of January at the SCG. The series is gone for England and with the coaching staff in isolation this is turning out to be a pretty miserable tour this summer. It is the Pink Test match but just like the weather in Sydney and the concerns around Omicron, this match has many twists and turns yet.   


Draftstars offer Test Match Daily Fantasy and have posted a $15,000 contest for this match. Note Test Match scoring is different to T20/OD cricket as it is much easier to follow throughout the game.



Let’s start with the weather as the remnants of an ex-tropical cyclone are making its way down the east coast of Australia and is likely to affect play here. Days 1 and 2 are going to be impacted with rain with up to 10mm falling in the city at an 80% clip. While this may not wash out the full days play, we are going to have stops and starts to start the Test match. The SCG curator is reported to left a bit of grass on the surface so this means the prediction of turn will not happen. Wickets are going to be hard to come by here if we are going by the big runs in the Big Bash earlier this season (yes, a long bow to draw upon, but it is a batters deck).  


Australia’s record in Sydney is pretty good if you take away all the drawn matches over the past 10 years. England did win here in 2011 and since then the Australians have won 6 times and there has been 4 draws. With the series gone and team selection being brought into question, there is really no right answers for England right now. They should bring back Stuart Broad to have another go and give the sore Ollie Robertson a rest. It is reported that the same top 7 will go again after being pants in the 2nd innings in Melbourne. This has made the side pretty cheap on Draftstars and likely to be popular batting targets if one or two can actually put an innings together. You are likely to have one of Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed or Jonny Bairstow in your lineups and predicting any of these to make 50+ is going to decide if your team is good or no good.


Likely XI: Hameed, Burns, Malan, Root (c), Stokes, Bairstow, Buttler (wk), Wood, Broad, Leach, Anderson.


For Australia, just the one change from Pat Cummins that was confirmed on Tuesday. MCG hero Scott Boland keeps his spot with Josh Hazelwood not 100% fit. Travis Head has COVID and will be replaced at 5 with Usman Khawaja. Talk of Steve Smith out of form is wildly premature when the Australian vice-skip has only batted 4 times in the series. The bowlers will find this wicket more harder to take wickets on but with the interruptions in play likely, I will be targeting bowlers who bowl first in this match as they are pretty much have the best opportunity to bowl twice. All players in the side are worthy selection even after Marcus Harris top scored last week in Melbourne.


Confirmed XI: Warner, Harris, Labuschagne, Smith, Khawaja, Green, Carey, Cummins, Starc, Boland, Lyon



Love It – Steven Smith ($18,600)


I reckon Smith has enjoyed a bit of “me” time in the past couple of days with news reports of a lack of “rhythm” in his batting and being stuck in a lift for an hour and going viral. Smith is playing on his home deck and many entrants will see a lack of Draftstars scoring in his box score. Like him in this spot as he has the temperament for long innings despite breaks in the weather.


Love It – Stuart Broad ($12,800)


Of course, the Australian Bowling attack has been the one to target in this series but all are now priced over $15,600. This creates a bit of a dilemma as you need to have at least English bowler in your attack and with Broad likely to play, I am happy to take the value at $12,800 and see if he can get through the top or at least the bottom order here.


Love It – Joe Root ($17,770)


Small salary drop due to the Australian bowlers ripping them apart makes Root an attractive option at under $18k. Leads all Batters in the series so far in terms of runs and has a safe pair of hands for bonus catches. Root/Smith pairing looks good on my suggested team here.


50/50 Call – Nathan Lyon ($16,400)


Tough for Lyon as you have the bias of a “spinning” SCG wicket (that may no longer be true) and the conditions for the Test match. Add in a salary that has progressively gone up through the summer and I am a bit torn playing him here in Sydney.


Hate It – Jack Leach ($10,900)


Cheapest bowler on the slate and rightly so with only 2 wickets in 2 Test matches at an average of 22 Draftstars points per game. Going to appear in many teams to fit in higher priced players I am staying well away from Leach here.


Suggested Draftstars Lineup   

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