It feels like a life-time ago since the winter of 2014, when England fell to a 5-0 whitewash down-under and gave up possession of the famous urn to the Australians.
Coupled with the various off-field issues that have ensued between then and the beginning of this series, an ever-more unlikely scenario continues to develop in the summer of 2015.
Particularly in the case of Kevin Pietersen, it would be fair to say that a lack of harmony within the squad provoked little confidence when the First Test in Cardiff finally arrived. Surprising then, that by Michael Clarke's own admission his team were played off the field in every aspect of the game in Wales.
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The Australian captain plays at No4 currently, and has a gloomy batting average of 18.8 in the entire series. Except for a minor contribution during the thunderous defeat of England at Lord's, he has seen his side fall twice now on tour to give the underdogs a 2-1 lead.
There is much talk of Clarke moving back in the order to No5, where he holds a much higher batting average in all tests of 61.83. With Australia staring down the barrel at the moment it may be time for a different approach at Trent Bridge to get the vital win they need to stay in the series.
Meanwhile, in the England camp fast-bowler James Anderson is out with a side-strain and looks set to be replaced by Mark Wood, who played in the first two tests. It is quite a blow to the hosts' bowling setup, as Anderson's dangerous swing recouped a six-wicket haul in the previous test at Edgbaston.
Though Wood is more than competent as a replacement, as only an ankle injury was responsible for his omission from the squad in Birmingham. Stuart Broad even voiced his opinion this week that as long as Wood is fit, he should play.
Regardless of the line-ups, the glory at stake starting this Thursday from Trent Bridge is of the highest level. Both sides need a win and that may require something special from one of the many stars who will be on show in Nottingham.
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