The most talked about event in the history of cricket and the biggest rivalry between two cricket originating nations England and Australia is about to begin. The highly-anticipated Ashes 2017-18 begins from November 23. The five test matches series will be hosted in Australian grounds. Both the teams will face each other for the “famous urn”. While England will enter the ground to retain the urn, Australia will not leave a single chance to take back Ashes. The last series was won by England in 2015 in England.
While Australia seems undefeated on their home ground, England knows it won’t be easy to retain the famous urn. The first test match will be played at The Gabba, Brisbane. And, Australians have not lost a single match in the 28 test matches played at this ground. Apart from this, they have registered win in six out of the last seven test matches they have played. Australia has always been stronger than England at their home conditions. Both the teams have played a total of 98 test matches on Australian soil, since World War II, and England have only won 23 test matches.
Now with the first test match scheduled to start from tomorrow, both the teams will try to take an edge over each other. However, Australia being the host looks more savage. While Steve Smith and Co. have made a few changes in their 13- man squad, Joe Root’s squad will miss the absence of their star all-rounder Ben Stokes. Ben Stokes is currently facing a suspension due to his involvement in a brawl at Bristol.
Australia 13-man squad (for the first test)-
David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Steve Smith (c), Usman Khawaja, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
England 16-man squad (for the first test)-
Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root(c), James Vince, Jonny Bairstow(wk), Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Mason Crane, Jake Ball, Craig Overton, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes
The Ashes 2017-18 Schedule –
November 23-27 1st Test Match The Gabba, Brisbane
December 02-06 2nd Test Match Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
December 14-18 3rd Test Match WACA Ground, Perth
December 26-30 4th Test Match MCG, Melbourne
January 04-08 5th Test Match SCG, Sydney
Both the teams have their odds and even. While England will miss their all-rounder Ben Stokes and will be a bit insecure with the current form of Stuart Broad, Australia will have to do something with their middle order batsmen. Although Australia is a stronger side, their middle-order batting is vulnerable.