Ashes – Can England triumph again?

Ben Jones 14 November 2013

Last minute essay writing sessions can be made a little more enjoyable this winter by following England’s defence of the Ashes, with the time difference giving you plenty of sport to accompany your bleary-eyed work. Here’s a brief guide to your new midnight study companion:

Despite a desperate change of coach at the start of the summer, Australia had a largely disastrous Ashes summer, and will be hopeful that home advantage will give them their first Test victory of 2013. Depleted by injuries, their bowling line up is not as young and ambitious as the one that started the summer, but Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris are all strong, quick bowlers, who can win Australia matches. The last Ashes test Australia won was a single-handed victory for Johnson, who devastated England in Perth in 2011/12, and his pace and awkward bowling action will worry Flower’s men. In terms of batting, Australia are still very reliant on the stylish but inconsistent captain Michael Clarke, which will be a worry for Aussie fans as he is struggling with back issues that could see him miss several Tests.

After a relatively lean series by their own high standards, England batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Jonathan Trott will be looking to make the most of the hard, fast wickets down under to give themselves a fitting send off in what will probably be their final Ashes series. The Australian coach Darren Lehman has challenged the home crowd to boo Stuart Broad relentlessly throughout the series, due to his perceived “cheating” in the Trent Bridge test in July. Whilst it will be a pressured environment for the Nottinghamshire bowler, I am backing Broad to relish the atmosphere and be amongst the wickets throughout the series.

After a successful 3-nil victory this summer, Alastair Cook’s England team will be confident of securing a fourth successive Ashes win this winter, whilst his adversary Michael Clarke will be hoping to kick-start a revival that has been a long time coming for the former giants of world cricket. However, with Cook’s men firm favourites, England fans will be hoping to see the urn returned safely to the home of cricket by the New Year.