The Sub Editors of the Sporting Times never envisaged that a mock obituary of England’s first defeat in a home test to Australia, read ” In Affectionate Remembrance of English cricket, which died at the Oval 29th August, 1882… the body shall be cremated and the Ashes taken back to Australia”.
This prompted a group of Australian women to present the honorable Ivo Bligh, England’s tour Captain with a urn the following winter, believed to contain – a ball, a bail, a veil, depending which legend you believe.
This Ashes Series begins at Trent Bridge 10-14 July
2nd Test Lord’s Cricket Ground 18-22 July
3rd Test Old Trafford 1-5 August
4th Test Riverside Ground 9-13 August
5th Test The Oval 21-25 August
Summary of Ashes results in England; 33 played with England winning 16 (48%) Australia wins 14 (42%) and 3 draws.
Several factors to consider during the Ashes tour and the Australians are lacking in the spin department only naming one specialist spinner, Nathan Lyon in the 16 man squad, but the surprise inclusion of Tasmanian all-rounder James Faulkner will be warmly met after his recent IPL stint taking 28 wkts for the Rajasthan Royals, Shane Watson also arrives on the back of a superb IPL Series scoring 543 runs.
Aussie Chris Rodgers who Captains English County side Middlesex CC brings his vast experience having amassed 19,107 first class runs averaging 50.03 is also a positive and earns him a place in the Australian squad.
England have just played New Zealand and crushed the Aussies in The Champions Trophy. England are well prepared for this encounter on both fronts – Bowling we have Lancashire’s James Anderson, a well matured pace bowler who recently past the 300 1st class wicket mile stone and regularly mentioned along side Dale Steyn as one the worlds best pace bowlers – Chris Broad is on top of his game and caused endless problems for N Zealand while Swann, who’s spin continues to pick up wickets each match are the back bone of Englands bowling attack.
Alistair Cook will be looking forward to Kevin Pietersen making a full recovery and take his place in the squad – England’s batting line up is top notch with Captain Cook, most experienced Bell, Trott and Root who scored a maiden test ton have all the correct attributes to deal with the Australian bowling attack.
Now each venue will see a different approach as to how the match is to be played;
Trent Bridge usually has good cricket pitches and by day 4/5 are spin days.
Lords depends on the weather,has good batting tracks and day 1/2 pace bowlers take wkts.
Old Trafford have swapped the square around and is a mystery as the test track hasn’t been used yet.
Riverside we get swing and generally lower scoring than the others.
The Oval is high scoring and takes to spin well from day 3.
Betting suggestions –
England to win Series- William Hill 4/9
Ground with most runs The Oval-William Hill 5/2
Top scoring England batsman – J Trott 4/1 Paddy Power
Outside bet-Top Aussie bowler J Faulkner 20/1 Ladbrokes.