Can England win the Ashes down under?
The countdown to The Ashes is now underway with the starting date set for December 8th. England will be heading into the series as underdogs but they’ll be hoping they can use that to their advantage.
Unfortunately, the latter half of the 2010s has seen England fail to be crowned Ashes champions whilst on Australian soil. In fact, they’ve had pretty miserable margins after failing to pick up a test match win in their last two Ashes trips.
The Aussies sealed 4–0 (5) in 2017/18 and 5–0 (5) back in 2013/14. The England women’s team also has not had too much success over in Australia with their last Ashes victory coming way back in the 2013–14 season. Their date has been set at a later date of 27th January due to start in Canberra.
The schedule for this year’s Ashes series will start in Brisbane’s Gabba on December 8th, followed by a day-nighter in Adelaide (16–20th December).
The traditional Boxing Day Test match is in Melbourne as usual (26–30th December) and the fourth Test will take place in Sydney (5–9th January).
For the first time, Perth will be the host city for the final Test to be played from 14–18th January. England will be hoping to get off to a good start in order to avoid chasing the Aussies in the later stages, they’re already priced as the underdog at this sportsbook, so a good start is vital. Despite Australia being the favorites, many are confident about England’s chances after a draw in the last series.
How can England win?
In the past, Steve Smith has proven to be the man to lead the Aussies to victory over England with him picking up 774 runs from 7 innings, averaging 110.57 with 92 boundaries and 5 sixes.
Not only do England have to deal with Smith, but also the rise of Marnus Labuschagne who is proving to be just as dangerous. At 27 by the time the Series comes around, he’s already scored an impressive average of above 60 in just 18-test matches at the time of writing.
He’s definitely one to fear for the three lions. In order to stop these two, England is going to have to look for short pitches and bowl towards the body. This will be the strategy heading in for the likes of Jofra Archer (providing he’s recovered), Olly Stone, and Mark Wood.
As well as this, England is going to have to hope their star power and high potential young batsmen show up. Joe Root, Ben Stokes, and Ollie Pope amongst others will have to step up ready to play in Test-mode rather than T20-mode and hit some big numbers.
Despite heading into the summer and the Ashes not until the winter, talk about team selection has already begun.
England head coach Chris Silverwood will be using the summer schedule to help him decide on his final team selection ahead of the Ashes in December. He will be hoping he has two of his stars — Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer with injury ruling them out for the upcoming matches.
Newcomers to the England set-up, James Bracey and Ollie Robinson will be looking to make their way into the team along with Ben Foakes and Craig Overton. With many potential dilemmas for Silverwood to deal with, there’s also a concern for what it means for the likes of Ollie Pope or Dan Lawrence as they look to strike the right balance in the squad.
Overall, it’s going to be a tough decision and Silverwood will be hoping for promising signs in the summer to help make his decision much easier come the winter.
Former England cricketer Michael Vaughan has said that one of England’s downfalls for the current crop of players is that they don’t have any dominant pairings that they can rely on to lead the way.
From this debate with Michael Vaughan, the experts also don’t believe that Archer will feature for England for the whole series unfortunately due to his elbow injury. They are predicting him to feature around 3 tests but not the whole series.
A big task for England to get the job done!
It’s definitely true that this is going to be a big task for England to overcome a strong Australian team. Australia is clearly the big favorite but cricket sometimes offers up some surprise results and perhaps this could be one of them?
It’s clear from all the talk in the build-up to this winter’s Ashes series that in order for England to beat Australia, even if they can tame the Aussie batsmen, they’re still going to have to score big.
They’ll be praying Stokes is fit and ready by that time but also in the mood to put on performances that we’ve seen from him many times in the past.
Doubts about England’s batting pairings could prevent them from succeeding at this part of the match, but they’ll be looking to their experienced cricketers to lead the way as well as their up-and-coming young players to get the job done by the time the two nations meet in Perth on the 14th of January.
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