16 Dec 2010

Both sides delay naming team for third Ashes test starting today

8:54 am on 16 December 2010

Having sent Australia crashing to the canvas in Adelaide, England will hope to land a knockout blow to their punch-drunk former tormentors when the third Ashes cricket test gets underway in Perth today.

Victory at the WACA ground would see Andrew Strauss's team bring the Ashes home for the first time since 1987, while condemning Ricky Ponting to becoming the first Australian captain in 120 years to lose three Ashes series.

Ponting said England outbatted, outbowled and outfielded the hosts in the second test in Adelaide, but the tourists, 1-nil up, will need to defy recent history to stop the hosts squaring the series.

England have lost their last five tests to Australia at the WACA and, like most teams, have struggled to adapt to the ground's traditionally quick pitches.

Their last win at the WACA came in 1978.

The pitch's grassy conditions have seen both sides delay naming their final 11 until just before the test starts at about 3pm.

Ponting, who will turn 36 on day four of the test, should it last that long, said the track could ultimately seal the hosts' Ashes fate and perhaps also that of his captaincy.