While Australia have been working hard to maintain momentum after their resounding win in the third Ashes Test at the WACA, Friday saw England take to the nets for the first time since the defeat.
The England players’ hour-long session will now be followed by a lighter work-out on Christmas morning in contrast to the Aussie preparations which have already featured two full-blown practice sessions.
When questioned about the contentious decision to rest up after the Perth defeat, batsman Jonathan Trott said: “It’s a long tour, and it’s important to be fresh. It’s not as if the guys haven’t been in the gym, working really hard and keeping their fitness levels up.”
The England players were united with their families prior to the third Test and its planned they will stay over Christmas and the New Year.
Trott will get the chance to spend Christmas with his two-month old daughter Lily and he thinks a short spell away from cricket will benefit the team.
“Sometimes, to take a step back from the game and look from the outside in is good for a few days,” he said.
“Otherwise you can find yourself on a treadmill – going to nets, and hitting balls for the sake of hitting balls.
“You’ve got to find the right balance between working hard and switching off. I think we have it pretty spot-on.”
Paceman, James Anderson hurt his side in the WACA test but looks to be fit for selection on Boxing Day after taking part in the net session.
His inclusion will boost England’s chances of bowling out the Australians as the series heads for a nail-biting conclusion in the final two Tests.
A win for England will give them a 2-1 series lead and guarantee they retain the Ashes. Betting on the Test match reflects how close the game is expected to be and Sportingbet is offering odds of 2/1 for England to win the fourth Ashes Test.