It is time to renew the greatest rivalry in cricket i.e. between England and Australia; yes it is time for “The Ashes”
Historically the Ashes series is played in gap of 18 and 30 months biennially in England and Australia because of the reverse weather seasons in the two countries. But this year it is been played in less than 5 months as historically the Australia leg has been played before the World Cup which will be held in Australia. As the World Cup is going to be held in Australia in 2015, the series has been scheduled now.
Every Ashes in the past have produced some phenomenal performances and it has been responsible in making or breaking careers of many cricketers of both the countries.
In the past some individuals have had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the series and that particular series is still remembered by the name of that impact player. The 1930 Ashes is still remembered as the Bradman’s Ashes, 1981 as Botham’s Ashes and 2005 as Flintoff’s Ashes to name a few.
This time we have a feeling that this Ashes will belong to the so called “Mavericks”, Shane Watson, David Warner and Kevin Pietersen.
Shane Watson: Arguably one of the most talented all-rounders going around currently in cricket, Watson is an impact player who can turn the match into Australia’s favour if it is his day. In his 46 test matches, he has scored 2998 runs at an average of 36 and taken 64 wickets at an average of 31. These statistics do not justify the talent of this player and the Australians might be hoping that this would be his time and he would be able to turn the fortunes of the Australian team.
David Warner: Often considered the bad boy of Australian cricket, there is no doubting his ability to demolish the opposition bowling attacks. He is an explosive batsman who can tear apart any bowling attacks and can change the course of the game in minutes. Last year was not a good one for him due to his off field antics and was even dropped from the national team on those grounds. But he has fought his way back by scoring heavily for New South Wales in typical Aussie fashion. He looks determined to put his past behind him and let his on field activities make headlines
Kevin Pietersen: He has been dubbed by the legendary Warne and Aussie media as the “Walking Ego”. But even they are aware that they need to keep his batting in check if they are garnering any hopes of regaining the Ashes. He is one of the best batsman going around and the challenge of playing against arch rivals Australia often brings the best out of him. Pietersen would be hoping to continue his good form against the Aussies in this series also. He is also achieving a landmark of playing his 100th test match for England in the very first match in Gabba.
But cricket is not an individual sport and these players will require the help of other players to win the series for their side.
Some other players who could make the difference:
Michael Clarke: Australian captain has been in sublime form in test cricket for the past 2 years and he would be hoping to continue the same
Bailey: He would be making his test debut in the first test and would be hoping to continue his great ODI cricket form in tests too.
Mitchell Johnson: He is making a comeback in test cricket and would be rearing to unleash his pace against the English batting
Ian Bell: After his initial struggles he has come into his own and was the best batsman in the last Ashes. He would be hoping to continue the same this series also
Stuart Broad: Australian media has given him a pasting after his controversy in the last series. He would be hoping to silent them by his on field performance.
This Ashes series will be battle between Australian bowling against the English batting.
Midnight breakfast predicts a well fought series and we expect it to be a draw with England regaining the Ashes. But England remains the favourite because of their form. Only time will tell who the eventual winners are and whether the Mavericks will be able to stamp their authority on the outcome of the series.