Five (not altogether serious) ways for England to avoid Ashes whitewash

With England seemingly set for defeat in Perth, we use our imagination to examine five ways it can escape another Ashes whitewash.

Joe Root and Stuart Broad search for answers at the WACA.   -  Getty Images

England endured a chastening day in the third Ashes Test in Perth on Saturday, as Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh thumped it all around the WACA.

The Australia captain (229 not out) and Marsh (181no) put on an unbroken stand of 301 to put the host 146 ahead with six first-innings wickets still remaining.

READ: Smith dominates with double century

With England seemingly heading for a defeat that will hand the little urn back to its rival, the visitor could be set to head to Melbourne and then Sydney desperately hoping to avoid a third series whitewash in four Ashes tours.

But as key batsmen Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Moeen Ali falter, and with a bowling department struggling to match the pace, hostility and penetration of Australia's attack, what can England do to escape another 5-0 shellacking?

READ: England admits bowling attack flaws

We've come up with a few ideas ...

PRAY FOR RAIN

Almost 150 behind and still with six wickets to take, England is facing a huge first-innings deficit. However, showers are predicted for days four and five, and extended spells of inclement weather could help the tourist escape with a draw in Perth.

SOMEHOW GET STOKES BACK

Much has been made of Ben Stokes' absence following his late-night altercation in Bristol in September. It now appears highly unlikely that Stokes will return in this series as he continues to await news of whether he faces criminal charges, but the star all-rounder's presence would give the flagging tourist a huge boost.

EMPTY THE BENCH

Should England find itself 4-0 down heading to Sydney, it might feel it a prudent time to give the squad players a chance to impress. The likes of Ben Foakes, Mason Crane and Tom Curran could bring a refreshing, no-fear approach to a downtrodden group.

KIDNAP STEVE SMITH

Smith's 229 on day three - his highest Test score - took his tally in the series to 416 runs at a whopping average of 208. The Australia captain has looked almost untouchable, to the extent England may be wise to consider alternative methods to keep him quiet.

GIVE UP AND GO HOME

If none of the above work, there is always one remaining option, of course. The coward's way out, but does any England man want another 5-0 Ashes reverse on his CV?

 

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