Close this search box.
Close this search box.

The Ashes Preview

It’s Marnus the Welshman versus Bazball England on Friday, when the Ashes Test series starts at Edgbaston.

Batsman Marnus Labuschagne – Glamorgan’s adopted son for recent seasons – will be one of the key figures for Australia as they bid to stop England’s freewheeling style from delivering success.

The Aussies are world champions but under the guidance of coach Brendon ‘Baz’ McCullum and captain Ben Stokes, England have rewritten the rulebook, securing an impressive 11 victories in 13 Tests.

With an astonishing scoring rate of nearly five runs per over under McCullum’s leadership, England’s risk-taking players have revolutionized the Test cricket strategy and transformed the team’s fortunes.

Previously, they had managed only one win out of 17 Tests. New and improved, their unorthodox style has confounded India, New Zealand, South Africa, and Pakistan.

Now, comes the ultimate rivalry and challenge, though, of the men from Down Under.

In their match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, England set a new record by scoring 506 runs in just 75 overs on the first day.

Even in daunting fourth innings run chases against New Zealand at home last year, England made targets of 277, 299, and 297 appear surprisingly manageable.

As the opening Test approaches at Edgbaston on Friday, the burning question is whether England will maintain their reckless abandon against an Australian side boasting arguably the best pace attack in the world.

Both Stokes and McCullum have given no indication of reining in their aggressive style during the build-up to the series.

Whether Australia, who reclaimed the Ashes with a 4-0 home win in 2018, retained them with a 2-2 draw in England in 2019, and then dominated with a 4-0 home victory in 2021, will adopt a similarly aggressive approach remains to be seen.

Australia, led by Pat Cummins, are not a team to back down easily and will approach the series with confidence after convincingly defeating India at Lord’sto claim the World Test Championship.

Steve Smith, a perennial thorn in England’s side, displayed his prowess with a century in the first innings against India. Alongside Labuschagne, he will provide a solid foundation for Australia’s batting lineup, while Travis Head poses a significant challenge for England’s bowlers.

The key to the series outcome may lie in how Australia’s formidable bowling unit, featuring Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood, adapts to the unfamiliar ‘Bazball’ style. “Every Ashes series ignites the excitement, but this time there is an added anticipation due to the brand and style of cricket England is playing,” said former England captain Nasser Hussain.

“We all wonder if they can replicate their success against Australia as they have against every other opponent.”

England prepared for the series with a commanding victory over Ireland at Lord’s, with Stuart Broad staking his claim for selection by taking five wickets in the first innings.

Ollie Pope solidified his place with a run-a-ball double century.

Broad will compete for a starting spot alongside his longstanding partner James Anderson, Ollie Robinson, and Mark Wood.

Moeen Ali, returning to the test fold after England’s primary spinner Jack Leach suffered a back injury, is likely to start despite not featuring in a test since 2021.

Social Share

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts

Scroll to Top