The Ashes: Australia have a point to prove ahead of return series
Sky Cricket's experts discuss the key issues as Australia aim to prove a point in the fourth Ashes Test.
Last Updated: 09/08/13 8:54am
Sky Cricket's experts will be back on air from 10am on Friday but before then they've been weighing up some of the key questions and issues facing both sides.
England may have retained the urn but they still have a series to win and with five more Tests in Australia on the horizon, this is no time to get caught cold...
Nasser Hussain on Alastair Cook
There must be some very tired minds and bodies on both sides, especially with Alastair Cook. This is his first Ashes series as captain and he's done the first part of the job.
But Andy Flower is going to have to look after him mentally because they have four things to tick off in the first six months - retain the Ashes, win the series, retain the Ashes in Australia and win Down Under.
So they've only ticked off the first aim so far. England can get better and in the same way that they went from Melbourne to Sydney in 2010/11 determined to win, so they'll be going to Durham - a ground where they have played some very good cricket in the past - to win the series and keep Australia down.
Mike Atherton on the balance of power in the series
If you look at the two sides I think most people would say England look the stronger side on paper, although that doesn't necessarily determine how a series goes. Australia have still got a series to play for - they can get a 2-2 out of it even if they aren't going to get the Ashes back that way. They'll be thinking 'how can we get to the point where we know we've got our best side out in Brisbane in a few months' time?'
The way that the batting order was rejigged at Old Trafford bodes well and I think their bowling is pretty much sorted now. They've got a phalanx of seamers that they can choose from. With back-to-back Test matches they may chop and change a little in that area and Nathan Lyon, who looks to be their best spinner, is now back.
Michael Holding on Australia's objectives
Australia will be trying their very best to win the last two Tests to draw the series; I think they have a point to prove. They have done well in a couple of the Test matches so far; they competed very well at Trent Bridge and, after being totally blown away at Lord's, they may well have won at Old Trafford but for the weather.
They had the upper hand for most of the time; they scored over 500 runs in their first innings and their seamers bowled a lot better than England's. That said, England did play some good cricket at the crucial times. Australia are trying to build a team for the future; they know that right now their team is not at the very best but thinking about the future they want to mix some experience with some youth and look to the next year and beyond.
David Lloyd on why England can win the series 4-0
I think England were really under the cosh at Old Trafford against an Australian side who played some really good cricket. But England were clear winners in the first two and I'm including Trent Bridge in that because Australia were indebted to the runs of last man Ashton Agar. I expect England to win the next two Test matches because I still don't think that we've seen the best of them.
One or two batsman - Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott in particular - are quiet and once they start firing Australia will have plenty more problems. It's good to see that Australia, eventually, have picked their best team even if it may be by accident! They may well have stumbled across the opener that they should have at the top in David Warner, leaving Shane Watson to settle in at No 6 as a batsman-bowler.
Sir Ian Botham on the demands of back-to-back Tests
England have done the job they wanted - now they will want to finish the series in style. Given how quick the turnaround is it will be interesting to see if they make any changes. They may rotate one of the bowlers and bring in Graham Onions on his home ground because back-to-back cricket is quite tough. I'm sure they'll think about it although I doubt if they will tinker too much. Australia's biggest concern will be about Ryan Harris.
He's a great performer but can he produce the goods in another Test match after only a three-day gap? He would be missed massively if he doesn't make it; it would be no fault of his own because if you are prone to injury you can't help it. The whole of Australia is expecting their players to do well and the players are street-fighters; they'll come at England again and that's what makes them such a great team to play against. If England take their foot off the accelerator they'll be in for a big shock.
Shane Warne on protecting Australia's seamers
I don't think Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, in particular, will be doing much training over the next two days; it will just be all about recovering for Durham given the quick turnaround between Tests.
Those two will be in the pool and having a bit of massage and physio to make sure they stay in the best possible shape. They might go out and bowl for 20 minutes to get over some stiffness but that will be about it. They won't need to do anything. Australia will want to keep them as fresh as they can and hope that they will both be right for the next Test match.
Nasser Hussain on Australia's need for consistency
I'm sure Darren Lehmann and Michael Clarke will be really proud of what they achieved at Old Trafford when the disappointment of drawing the game eases. They'd lost six on the bounce in Test cricket and four in a row to England beforehand and they really fought hard to break those trends.
Now they've got to find a bit of consistency because I was worried after the way they played at Lord's, which was very concerning. England's top-order are not playing as fluently as they can do but that's all credit to the way Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris and, earlier in the series, James Pattinson have bowled. They've found a good spinner in Nathan Lyon - I don't know why he didn't start the series, to be honest.
Michael Holding on the continuing DRS controversy
I don't think the ICC need to address anything at this stage - rather the players need to understand why DRS was brought in; it was introduced to get rid of really bad decisions. At the moment - and I suppose it is human nature - a lot of players are gambling on the DRS and trying to see if they can get away with something that hasn't shown up on the technology exactly as it should be.
That is not why it was brought into the game. I don't think there is anything wrong with the system; it is just a matter of how players use the system.
Watch the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia live from 10am on Friday on Sky Sports Ashes and online and iPad via the Ashes Events Centre, available via the Sky Sports App.