The Ashes 2013 is starts today. England vs Australia the oldest and one of the fiercest rivalry the game of cricket will know. The pomp and pageantry and history and anecdotes and how the teams have fared over a period. The heroes, the villains the gripping plot the climax and the anti thesis. A drama that unfolds. It wasn't so when Australia were ascendancy few years back. In 1987 it started it all, when Allan Border, like Michael Clarke supposedly led the worst team to land on shores of England for the conquest of The Ashes.
They lost the previous Ashes which was played in Australia was lost primarily due to Ponting's obstinacy more than anything else. Aussies found themselves in a quagmire which cost them the series. But then this time around after getting steam rolled in India perhaps a more Aussie like display would helped Aussies the most. Mickey Arthur sacking may have helped them in that direction.
Aussies the challengers
The Aussie player to watch are, the batter of fast bowlers Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Harris, Watson with the happy knack of picking wickets. Lyon and Steve Smith with spinning capabilities. The bowlers look to get wickets, but its the batting they seem to bring on to the pitch. Aussies need to get back to the drawing board playing cricket, build partnerships play out sessions and look for safety first and perhaps English tendency to collapse in heaps probably will assist them. Warner and Watson have to come good if Aussies have to put a brave challenge. Clarke may be should bat at number four. Haddin as a keeper batsman will make the batting order.
Batting is a bit of a lag for the Aussies on current form. It will be very interesting what eleven plays for Aussies in the first test and how they sort their batting woes, perhaps will set the tone for the series. I wonder if they play both Watson and Steve Smith, gives them more options. They should probably look at what SAfs did in England and look to build. But I dont think Poms will offer those kind of pitches to Australia.
England's Ashes to loose.
Poms seems to have most bases covered. A test opener, a nibbler in form of Trott, Jet booster in form of Pietersen. A touch player in Bell. I am no fan of Bell he is the most incomplete batsmen in history, Warne use to invite him to bat and claim his wicket on will. But I guess Warne wont be bowling in this series. Prior remains a hand with the bat and English tail wags when required and fends off attacks when it come to saving tests, they saved a couple of those when Australia played last in England. Monty Panesar being the hero with the bat in the Cardiff test which was drawn. Broad is a bowler to watch. He is lethal in English conditions.
I have been not so good in predicting the series. Last few have been awful especially since India lost home and away test to England. Aussies are chasing the ghost a little bit. Aussies must resolve to put up a good fight.
The men who may matter.
The players to watch out for during the series are, Pietersen, Clarke, Watson, Starc, Warner, Clarke, Trott, Broad, Root, Anderson. Also the man on the button taking calls on DRS referrals.