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Australia expects England to hit back hard in Melbourne, says Green


Australia is expecting a spirited response from England in the third Ashes Test after losing the opening two matches in the series, but the hosts will be ready for anything Joe Root’s men can throw at them, all-rounder Cameron Green said on Friday.

The touring side suffered heavy defeats in Brisbane and Adelaide in the first two Tests of the five-match series and must win at Melbourne Cricket Ground to keep alive their hopes of winning the Ashes.

Australia has looked better than their arch-rivals in every department of the game, but Green was sure England would put on an improved performance for the third Test starting on Sunday.

“Not saying that the performances weren’t good, they had really good moments, and we know how good they are and obviously a world-class team, world-class players.

“We played really well the last couple of matches, we’re sure they’ll bounce back really hard.”

Green said it was important to put the series to bed as quickly as possible as it was dangerous to give England the slightest encouragement.

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“You never want to let a world-class team like England back into the series so if we can keep on top … that’s what we are looking for,” he added.

Stand-in captain Steve Smith had said he was advised to manage the 22-year-old’s workload on the final day of the pink ball contest in Adelaide, but Green said he is ready to go for Melbourne.

Green has managed to get the prized wicket of England captain Root twice in the series but said there is no big secret to playing the England skipper.

“I just have very simple plans to him. Just keep it tight from one end and let the other guys do their job,” Green said.

“I’ve just got lucky a couple of times.”

While Green will be firing on all cylinders in Melbourne the status of fast bowler Josh Hazlewood remains uncertain after he missed the Adelaide Test with a side strain.

Green was unsure of his participation in the upcoming Test but was sure Hazlewood would be available for the fourth match in Sydney from Jan. 5.

“He’s going really well,” said Green. “He was doing his run-throughs today, and he’s looking really good. I haven’t spoken to the guys for this game, but definitely lock him in for Sydney.”

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