Ashes: Can England pull this off?
If ever there was a chance to beat Australia on their home turf it is now. England’s last attempt at winning the Ashes in Australia ended in a humiliating 5 -0 defeat. However with the aging Australian team, bowling legends such as Shane Warne, Glen McGrath and Brett Lee now gone, it is left to players such as Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger and the inexperienced spinner Xavier Doherty -who was selected ahead of the more experienced Nathan Hauritz - to be the strike bowlers for Australia. England’s bowling line up can rely on the experience of Grame Swann and Jimmy Anderson who will aid their quest in attempting to hold the Ashes on foreign soil. Australia however boast the experience of Ricky Pointing who has the ability to produce great match winning innings under pressure.
England’s build up to the first test, starting on Thursday, was quite successful. Ian Bell produced a good score in the last tour match against Australia A, scoring 192 runs he will be making a point to the selectors to include him in the first test. Kevin Pietersen who has been under pressure due to his recent low scores against Pakistan in the home test series has managed a top score of 58 on this tour so far. Meanwhile bowlers Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, Steven Finn and Graeme Swann were not present in the final tour match they spent the last week “acclimatising” to conditions in Queensland.
Both Teams have strength in the batting line up with all rounders Paul Collingwood and Shane Watson providing the extra bowling option for both England and Australia respectively. Recently Nottinghamshire bowler Stuart Broad has also performed with bat, scoring 169 against a formidable Pakistan bowling line up. Could he hold the key to England’s success in retaining the Ashes? After it was announced that the Australian vice- captain Micheal Clarke presence in the first test was doubtful, he had to miss the last practice session due to a recurring back injury. This may add to England’s chances of winning the first test match as Australia will defiantly miss his experience.
With the first test already underway there is no doubt that both Australia and England fans will be eagerly awaiting the outcome of this great tournament.
By Nimitray Joshi