Can Australia win?
In any two team contest, both sides can always win but as a match ebbs and flows, fortunes and that history I have referred to all change the possibilities. At the moment, a snowballs chance in hell would be my colourful yet accurate assessment of Australia scoring the squillions of runs required.
125 years is a long time. Statistics gathered over such a long time, apart from causing a bout of extreme salivation in statisticians, it also provides what is known as and extremely good sample. Variations caused by changes in wickets, the ability of players, developments in wickets etc etc etc are negated by a good sample. In that 125 years, no team has scored this many runs in the 4th innings to win, not even in first class cricket. No Test team has got within 150 of the total Stauss has challenged Australia to make. Worse, at The Oval, the highest 4th innings winning total is 263 so to win. Australia has to more than double that stat. Over long periods of time - lets say 125 years - changes in stats tend to be incremental not great leaps and changes that are demanded here.
Then there's a deteriorating wicket, a confident group of bowlers against team of increasing doubt as shown my the constant suggestion that even the umpires are against them.
Can they win? Yes they can. Will they win. Not likely.
To score 546, three of them have to score hundreds and one of those has to score large. Three others in the top eight have score 30-50. That leaves the last three somewhere between 50 and 80 to make between them. The English bowlers have to lose the plot. Strauss has to forget everything he has learned and desired against Australia. These last two have to happen together and for five or six sessions.