England prepared to face Australia at the Ashes?

25/03/2013 no comments »
England prepared to face Australia at the Ashes?

The cricketing rivalry known as the Ashes between Australia and England dates back to 1882, as according to the England Cricket Board, the ‘Sporting Times’ newspaper wrote an obituary for English cricket after their first defeat to Australia that year, this result therefore prompted the Australians to present an urn containing the ashes of a ball or bail, and the Ashes as we know it was born. All the history involved makes this contest truly special and over the decades there have been some magnificent tussles between the two nations, as who could forget Ian Bothams contribution in the 1981 series, or Shane Warne’s first ball to remove Mike Gatting in 1993, as the Australians swept England aside.

Another chapter will be written this year as the Ashes starts again on the 10th July at Trent Bridge, with test matches at Lords, Old Trafford, the Riverside ground and lastly the Kia Oval in August.

England will be aiming to win their third series in a row after winning 2-1 in 2009 at home, and 3-1 in Australia in 2010 / 11,they have a proven bowling attack including James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, and spinner Graeme Swann, so they are worthy favourites.

The Australians meanwhile are still trying to recover after the retirement of legends Glenn McGrath and the iconic Shane Warne, with their current bowlers understandably struggling to live up to them. Their current form is not great either as they have just suffered a 4-0 whitewash in India, with four players including vice-captain Shane Watson dropped for disciplinary reasons before the third test by coach Mickey Arthur.

Their batting line-up is not the destructive force it once was, as following the retirements of legends Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Adam Gilchrist over the last five or six years, the great former captain Ricky Ponting also recently bowed out, meaning they have several players with little international test experience. One plus is their Captain Michael Clarke, who has been in great form during 2012 with a batting average of 106.33, they will need him to continue this against England if they are to win the urn back.

England’s recent form is patchy as they are currently struggling to avoid a series defeat in New Zealand, but they did win a test series in India for the first time since 1985 with the 2-1 success late last year. Their line-up looks strong when everyone is available as they have reliable batsman and Captain Alastair Cook, with Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell and newcomer Nick Compton leading the batting along with the brilliant Kevin Pietersen.

England’s bowling attack is arguably the best in the world at the moment, as superb spinner Graeme Swann is backed up by James Anderson, who recently took his 298th wicket in New Zealand, along with Steven Finn and Stuart Broad.

It all makes for a fantastic series in prospect this summer, and although England are favourites, it would be foolish to write the Australians off as history proves anything can happen in the Ashes.

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