The Ashes: England must match Australia's aggression - Dawid Malan

The Ashes: England must match Australia's aggression - Dawid Malan

Though Mitchell Starc won't be a part of the hosts' line-up for the fourth Test in Melbourne, he made it clear Australia will not relent in this context."It's Test match cricket, isn't it?"

Root acknowledges the former Australia captain's entitlement to his opinion, but points out Ponting has no inside-track on happenings inside the touring squad.

England captain Joe Root dismisses Ricky Ponting's description of him as "a little boy".

"We're not wanting to go there, but we do need to find the right balance in the circumstances to not compromise the way the game's played and not compromise the way in which the players are best equipped to show their skills".

"The way he answered a lot of the questions after the game last week seemed nearly like a little boy", said Ponting. Bird's last Test appearance was in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan 12 months ago but he has been in stellar form having taken 15 wickets from his past two Sheffield Shield matches for Tasmania.

Australia will be without strike fast bowler Mitchell Starc, who will miss the Melbourne Test with a bruised heel. So they've always got two lengths they can bowl at you.

"The thoughts of the Australian team, our families and I think also the Australian public are with Bonnie and Tim through this tough time".

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Starc's omission may well give the English camp a boost in confidence at the MCG and they will be hoping that the selectors do in fact play it safe with their star quick.

"It's given us a lot of confidence moving forward that the things we tried to put in place earlier in the series have come through to a certain degree, but ultimately we want to win a game of cricket on this tour". Hopefully this gets them up and going and they fire some barbs at us, because I love that.

The fourth Test begins on Tuesday. Things come into it when you play through injuries, but that's not the case this week.

"I was doing the exact same thing previous year, but I was making runs so my technique was OK then", he said on Friday, referring to his first summer in the Australian team when he averaged 99.75 across four Tests.

"I think it's important that you don't try and be something you are not but I know there are occasions where you might have to be quite strong in front of the group, in front of the whole group".

The mild-mannered Woakes also delivered a straight-talking press conference at the MCG, where he conceded England can learn from the example Australia have set on their way to taking a 3-0 lead.

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