Cook among three players under most pressure to perform in third Ashes Test

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Alastair Cook will be under the lens at Perth.

With the third Ashes Test set to get underway at the WACA on Thursday, a decisive game lies in store for the fans of both sides.

Australia will be looking to seal the series triumph and recapture the urn after taking a 2-0 lead courtesy of their 10-wicket win at Adelaide.

England on the other hand, have it all to do if they are to entertain any thoughts of retaining the Ashes.

We look at the three players who will be under massive pressure to perform at Perth.

ALASTAIR COOK

There is perhaps no other player who will be under greater pressure to perform at the WACA than England’s senior most batsman. The opener has endured a dismal time in the Test arena ever since his mammoth knock of 243 runs against the West Indies in Birmingham last August.

Since then, Cook’s has put up scores of 11, 23, 10, 17, 2, 7, 37 and 16 so far in the whites of England.

Just 62 runs in his four innings so far in the Ashes has compounded the tourists’ misery with his opener Mark Stoneman playing in his debut Ashes series.

The lack of a good start has hurt England dearly so far and they will need much more from their former skipper to have a chance at Perth.

Cook has endured a dismal run of late.

Cook has endured a dismal run of late.

PETER HANDSCOMB

The Victoria batsman is another who has struggled to get going in the Ashes so far.

Such has been Handscomb’s failure with the bat that the Australian selectors are contemplating throwing on Mitchell Marsh as an extra bowling option in place of the 26-year-old.

Skipper Steve Smith has defended Handscomb amidst his struggles but even he will know that time is running out for his good friend. Handscomb technical faults were exploited to the hilt by England pacer James Anderson at Adelaide and the visitors will have now figured out the chinks in his armour.

If Handscomb does indeed keep his place over Marsh on Thursday, expect the spotlight to be him massively.

Handscomb's techinique has been called into question.

Handscomb’s technique has been called into question.

JAMES VINCE

Vince performed admirably on his Ashes debut along with England’s other two debutants Mark Stoneman and Dawid Malan.

However, since his fine 83 in the first innings at Brisbane, Vince has failed to live up to the initial hype. His three subsequent scores in the series are 2, 2 and 15.

While he hasn’t been the only English batsmen to have gone off the boil, Malan and he are the most expendable in the squad at the moment given England’s dearth of opening batsmen currently.

Another failure at Perth for Vince could very well bring his place in the side into question.

Vince's form has dropped off since the first innings at Brisbane.

Vince’s form has dropped off since the first innings at Brisbane.

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