The biggest sporting event of the year, (If you are an aussie or a pom) is nearly here, only 6 months away. And don't say i'm getting carried away.
Now I know most of the yanks on this forum wont understand what the "Ashes" is and I don't know if I can be bothered to explain it, but i'm sure their are lots of aussies & poms who can contribute, plus other cricket fans.
I hope England can go into the ashes in the right way, hopefully with convincing wins against sri lanka and pakistan, as well as a good performance in the champions trophy. However, that being said, England may go out early/ fail in the icc/cc since it's just a week or so before the real action begins.
My prediction for the series is two-all, everyone keeps going on about the gabba, and how the England batsmen will struggle, but Harmison, Flintoff, and Jones will certainly enjoy the bouncy wicket. In fact I would say England have the advantage here, because apart from Brett Lee we definately have a pacier attack.
On the batting front Australia are definately stronger and Hussey looks like he has an extremely bright future, with an average of 76 in 11 matches along with four centuries. I have to say that in comparison KP is extremely hyped , with only 2 centuries in the same number of matches at 43.20. Hussey is my tip for man of the series but will be pushed close by Flintoff and Vaughan (Who I think will return to form.) I also sincerely hope Ashley Giles can return to fitness since although not in the same class as Warne or Macgill:
he is the best we have, and by a long way too. Although Panesar might some day be a better spinning option he is not experienced enough, and is not a good enough Batsmen. No Englishman would want to see Hoggard coming in at six. As for Blackwell he is just a bits and pieces player, a bit like Symonds, except Symonds is better; and Udal is too old, and poor in the field.
I also think that is time for jones to GO (for the yanks who don't know, his initials are G O J) He simply hasn't been good enough and Read has already made two centuries for Notts this season. Also, I would drop Bell, if he continues to underperform up to the ashes, and replace him with cook or collingwood. Probably Collingwood for the experience.
So this would be my England team if the ashes were tommorow:
Giles/ if the king of spain is unavailable then Blackwell.
Im only changing two players from the ashes winners, as I think it is too important a contest to blood the youth of panesar and cook. And I do not believe Shah has what it takes to succeed at TEST level.
So those are my prediction, what do you all think?
Ill leave you with some good memories of last summers series:
Oh and this is the schedule:
Nov 23-27 - Australia v England (1st test), Brisbane
Dec 1-5 - Australia v England (2nd test), Adelaide
Dec 9-10 - England v Western Australia, Perth
Dec 14-18 - Australia v England (3rd test), Perth
Dec 26-30 - Australia v England (4th test), Melbourne
Jan 2-6 - Australia v England (5th test), Sydney
it's followed by 7 ODI's.