Rain, pitch could deny a result in third Ashes test

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Sydney, July 30 (ANI): Neither the pitch nor the weather are likely to smile upon Australia and England during the third Ashes Test being played at Edgbaston, Warwickshire from Thursday.

Steve Rouse, the curator at Edgbaston, believes that a draw is the likeliest outcome because of the endless rain.

According to cricket columnist Peter Roebuck, the current Ashes series has been notable more for its fourth-innings dramas than the quality of the cricket.

"The cricket has been mostly subdued. England played poorly in Cardiff and survived. Australia played abysmally for 31/2 days at Lord's and perished. Only spasmodically have both sides impressed," he says in his article for the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Indians and South Africans will not be losing any sleep.

He also believes that the absence of England's best batsman Kevin Pietersen (out with an Achilles heel injury) is good news for the Australians.

"Knowing his dangers, respecting his ability to collar any attack, opponents are mightily relieved when the blighter departs. His presence adds weight to the list, reassures comrades.

Now, England have been denied his services. One of the home side's two heavyweights has been removed - and the other (Flintoff) is hobbling around," says Roebuck.

"By no means is the England order invincible. No side with Alastair Cook at the top of the list, Ravi Bopara at first wicket down and Ian Bell to follow can be entirely confident about its prospects. Some of these fellows have suspect temperaments, others have serious technical flaws," Roebuck adds.

In Pietersen's absence, Roebuck says that the Australians' prospects of taking 20 wickets have improved markedly.

"If the Australian bowlers are good enough they can break through," he says. (ANI)

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