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The Ashes: England vs Australia

By Bhavya - May 17, 2023 - Last updated on May 18, 2023 12:55 AM
 The Ashes: England vs Australia

The Ashes is one of the most iconic and historic rivalries in the world of cricket. It is a series of test matches played between England and Australia, with both teams vying for the coveted urn. The Ashes is a unique sporting event that has captured the imagination of cricket fans all over the world for over a century. The series has seen some of the greatest moments in cricket history, and the rivalry between the two nations has only grown stronger over the years.

Australia are the current holders of the Ashes, having won the 2021-22 series 4-0. However, England will be looking to regain the urn on home soil, and they will be boosted by the return of Ben Stokes to the captaincy. Stokes is one of the most exciting players in world cricket, and he will be hoping to lead England to victory.

History of the Ashes

HISTORY OF ASHES

The history of the Ashes dates back to 1882, when England lost a home series against Australia for the first time. A satirical obituary was published in The Sporting Times, declaring that English cricket had died and that "the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia". The Australian team that toured England in 1882 were captained by W.L. Murdoch, and it was they who claimed the urn, which is said to contain the ashes of a cricket ball, as a trophy. The two teams have been playing for the Ashes ever since, and the rivalry has only grown stronger over the years. The Ashes has produced some of the most memorable moments in cricket history, including the Bodyline series in 1932-33, the tied Test in 1960, and the 2005 series, which is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricket series of all time.

Australia are the current holders of the Ashes, having won the 2021-22 series 4-0. However, England will be looking to regain the urn on home soil, and they will be boosted by the return of Ben Stokes to the captaincy. Stokes is one of the most exciting players in world cricket, and he will be hoping to lead England to victory.

England have struggled for consistency in test cricket, with a number of players struggling for form. Their batting has been a particular cause for concern, with the likes of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler all struggling for runs in recent series. England's bowling attack, however, has been impressive, with the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad still capable of producing match-winning performances.Australia, on the other hand, have enjoyed a strong run of form in test cricket, winning their last six test matches in a row. Their bowling attack, led by the likes of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, has been particularly impressive, with the trio capable of tearing through any batting line-up in the world. Australia's batting, however, has been less consistent, with a number of players still looking to establish themselves at the test level.

ASHES

Squads

England have named a 17-man squad for the first two tests of the series, with a number of new faces in the squad. Opener Rory Burns has been recalled after missing the last test series against India, while all-rounder Ben Stokes has also returned to the squad after taking an indefinite break from cricket to focus on his mental health. The likes of Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope and Dom Sibley will be looking to establish themselves in the team, while fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Olly Stone will be looking to make an impact with the ball.Australia have named a 15-man squad for the series, with the likes of David Warner, Steve Smith and Pat Cummins all included. Marnus Labuschagne, who has been in excellent form in test cricket, will be looking to continue his impressive run of form, while the likes of Cameron Green and Travis Head will be looking to establish themselves in the team. Australia's bowling attack, as mentioned earlier, is their strength, with the trio of Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc likely to be the backbone of their attack.

Key Battles

As always, the Ashes is likely to produce some intriguing individual battles between players from both teams. Here are some key battles to look out for:Joe Root vs Pat Cummins: Root is England's best batsman and will be key to their hopes of winning the series. However, he will face a tough challenge against Cummins, who is currently the world's best fast bowler.Steve Smith vs James Anderson: Smith has been a thorn in England's side in recent Ashes series, scoring a number of centuries and averaging over 60 with the bat. Anderson, however, is a master of swing bowling and will be looking to exploit any weaknesses in Smith's technique.David Warner vs Jofra Archer: Warner has struggled for form in test cricket in recent times, but he is still a dangerous player capable of scoring runs quickly. Archer, meanwhile, is one of the fastest bowlers in world cricket and will be looking to unsettle Warner with his pace and bounce.Marnus Labuschagne vs Stuart Broad: Labuschagne has been in excellent form in test cricket over the last couple of years, averaging over 60 with the bat. Broad, however, is a wily veteran who knows how to take wickets in English conditions.

Country Win Venue Year
England 2-1 England 2005
Australia 5-0 Australia 2006-07
England 2-1 England 2009
Australia 2-1 Australia 2010-11
England 3-2 Australia 2013
Australia 5-0 Australia 2013-14
England 3-2 England 2015
Australia 4-0 Australia 2017-18
England 2-2 (England retained the Ashes) England 2019
Australia 4-0 Australia 2021-22

Prediction

The Ashes is always a difficult series to predict, with both teams evenly matched on paper. However, Australia's superior bowling attack and more settled batting line-up give them the edge heading into the series. England will need their top order to fire if they are to have any chance of winning the series, while their bowling attack will need to perform at its best to keep Australia's batsmen in check.

Overall, this promises to be a fascinating series between two of the biggest rivals in cricket. The Ashes is always special, and this year's series is sure to produce some memorable moments that will be talked about for years to come.

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