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The Ashes: England show fight but lots of work to do

England showed grit and determination to draw the fourth Ashes Test against Australia, ruling out the possibility of a series whitewash, but there are still areas of the squad that require big improvements.

After surviving a nail-biting final two overs with just one wicket remaining, the travelling party managed to put some pride back into their performance and the draw should provide some confidence heading into the fifth and final Test, which will be shown on Sports Live Streaming.

The finale will take place at Blundstone Arena in Hobart from 14th-18th January and England can be backed at 6/1 to pick up their first win of the series, while the draw is priced at 2/1 and Australia are 8/11 to record a fourth victory.

Sifting through an incident-packed fourth Test, these are three things we learned from the SCG encounter.

End of the road for Hameed

While Zak Crawley enhanced his reputation at the top of the order with an eye-catching 77 in the second innings in Sydney, Haseeb Hameed endured another miserable Test as he fell for his sixth consecutive single-figure score.

The 24-year-old hasn't looked up to scratch at this level in what has been a harrowing tour for him and it would be no surprise to see Rory Burns replace Hameed for the final Test.

Burns was, arguably, harshly dropped after the second Test defeat and he has only scored 29 runs less than Hameed, who has eight innings compared to his team-mates four, during this series.

Former England bowler Steven Finn, speaking on BBC Test Match Special, says he would be inclined to keep Hameed in for the Hobart encounter and give him the chance to prove his worth but it remains to be seen whether he keeps his place.

Bairstow provides timely reminder

England's struggles with the bat means there is the opportunity for someone to come in and stake his place for a regular place in the starting XI and Jonny Bairstow appears to have done precisely that.

Having struggled after being recalled for the third Test, the 32-year-old made a brilliant century in the first innings at the SCG before then battling with a hand injury to make 41 in the second innings.

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Those two batting displays showcased two different sides of Bairstow, one which is capable of going on to get the big score and the other that can stick in and frustrate the opposition.

With wicket-keeper Jos Buttler returning home after picking up a finger injury, there is a spot to fill behind the stumps heading into the fifth Test in Hobart.

Bairstow could be handed the chance to impress with the gloves, although his hand issue may give an opportunity to Sam Billings, who has been added to the squad and is expected to play some part in the finale.

Khawaja stakes Test claim

Usman Khawaja was handed his chance in Australia's starting XI for the Sydney encounter and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, becoming just the ninth player to make centuries in both innings of an Ashes Test.

The 35-year-old was playing his first Test since 2019 but he slipped back into international cricket in seamless style, making 137 and an unbeaten 101 to earn the man-of-the-match award.

Speaking about his performance, Khawaja said, as quoted by BBC Sport: "It could have gone either way. We couldn't have asked for much more.

"I thought 300 in the first innings would have been a pretty good score. I'm enjoying the game. I love it. There are ups and downs. I know the next time I play I could get two ducks."

Australia now have a big decision to make ahead of the fifth Test with Travis Head, who impressed during the first three matches, now back and available for selection.

It would be a brave decision to drop Khawaja after back-to-back centuries and Head, whose 152 is the highest individual score of the series, may have to settle for a watching brief from the dressing room.

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