Michael Carberry
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Carberry to finally click in second innings to bring Ashes cheer

| 27.12.2013

Michael Carberry has scored more runs in the first innings than the second in each of the first three Tests of this Ashes series, but the time could be now that makes a telling contribution to put England in greater control in Melbourne.

Alongside benefiting from the bowling of Mitchell Johnson, who has now taken 28 wickets in the series, batting first has also aided Australia in racking up first-innings leads.

England should now be able to follow suit in Melbourne, as they currently lead by 91 runs with just one Australian first-innings wicket to take, although Nathan Lyon is coming to the crease and he is still to be dismissed this series.

With him is Brad Haddin, who continues to frustrate England with his attacking array of aerial shots. Kevin Pietersen didn’t last long on the second morning adopting this strategy and the hope will be that the same happens to Haddin early on day three.

Then the pressure moves to England’s batsmen in the hunt of a target that they can prevent Australia reaching and it may only take one player to register a big score for this to happen.

England are now 8/11 in the Ashes betting to win the fourth Test and interestingly, of their top order, Carberry is the only member not to score a second-innings 50 so far.

Assuming England do start their second innings with a lead, it will be a different pressure on their shoulders and the fact they are ahead may result in them batting with a little more freedom.

The bowling of Johnson will undoubtedly be key, but the left-arm quick has only dismissed Carberry once in the series, which was in the first innings of the first Test.

Instead, it has been Shane Watson that has caused Carberry the most problems, with the all-rounder taking four wickets in the series and three of them having been the England opener.

It is Watson’s economy and persistent line and length that creates pressure and now that Carberry can afford to bat differently, this could help.

Australia are now 11/8 to move 4-0 ahead in the series in Melbourne, with the draw available at an unlikely 11/1.