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superblue24

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Sooooo, anyone care to speculate on the biggest sporting event of the year?

England massive favorites on Betfair. I wonder if it will play that way.....Maybe I (along with others) am being paranoid what with it being Australia. You never know what they'll produce.

Michael Clarkes form has been nothing short of spectacular in the past year and will no doubt be Englands "key wicket" along with the obvious threat of Shane Watson. I can honestly say that it's difficult to see any major threat coming from anyone else in their top to middle order. You look at the likes of Hughes, who in theory is replacement for Punter, but there is no comparison in terms of ability, not to mention his dreadful Ashes record. You also look at their other two opening options Cowan and Warner. I think Warner looks a decent batsmen, but certainly not comparable to previous opening bats.

Then we move to the likes of the once highly rated Khawaja who looks a useful player, but was massively found out in the Ashes 2010-11. Finch and Forrest I know little about, but we should have a chance to see how Quinney gets on at Essex in the coming season. Marsh and White, I can't say I rate that highly....nor do I feel particularly concerned about Voges. Obviously Haddin represents a "threat", but not consistent enough to carry any real fear to his possible inclusion in the squad.

As far as the bowling is concerned. I haven't really been paying much attention to their attack, but I'm sure Siddle, Bollinger, Hilfenhaus and Johnson will be included. All too inconsistent to concern me massively. And the one thing you would want to possess against Englands batsmen is the one thing they don't have....A useful spinner! Henriques sounds like a hot talent, but I doubt he would get the nod at such a young age and might be introduced in the return tour rather than this one.

I really would love to see Tremlett fit and bowling well again. He terrorized the Aussies in the last Ashes and would be such a shame if he can't come in for this series. Anderson will obviously get in....Broad perhaps struggling with his form, but whether that will get him fired up given the event.....Finn looks likely to feature in this series also. Would love to have Monty bowling, but I expect he will only appear when needed. For me, he's definitely a better spinner than Swanny, just lacks luck at times imo. I'm not convinced on Patel, and less so with Bresnan who just bores the pants off me! So predictable.

Battingwise, I can't see us making any radical changes to the usual suspects Cook, Trott, KP, Bell with Compton probably likely to come in as an opener. Obviously Root, Taylor, Morgan and Bairstow will all be waiting in the wings for any slip ups and poor form, but I think only one of those will play predominantly....Not sure who it will be, but I would say Morgan has possibly blown his Test chances for now. Prior nailed on for WK as always.

I would say probably early prediction on line up..... Cook, Compton, Trott, KP, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson, Finn.....Give or take one or two depending on conditions, injuries etc.....

Score prediction - 3-1 to England.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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Root's been hugely impressive this winter. Barring disaster v NZ or injury he plays.

Australia's batting looks very fragile. A lot rests on Clarke. Warner is dangerous as he can take the game away from you. I'm expecting Hughes to step up. He's scored runs in county cricket as part of our policy of supporting emerging nations try and get up to test class.

I think Wade is now the Convicts' first choice keeper.

Their bowling attack is dangerous. Mitchell Johnson - who destroyed England at Perth don't forget - is about 9th choice for them.

Pattinson, Siddle, Starc and Harris (when fit) has real potential as a test pace attack. Cummins is still raw but has pace and Hilfenhaus will be a threat if it's traditional English conditions. Haven't seen much of Jackson Bird or Trent Copeland but they can get bounce and move it.

I think the series will be won by the team who scores them most tail order runs and Pattinson and Starc have been handy in this regard. I hope Bresnan can recover his best form as he's England's best old ball bowler and his batting is huge. Going from Bresnan, Broad, Swann, Anderson to Swann, Anderson, Finn, Panesar is scary.

Ultimately I can't get too worked up about this series. We should still be savouring our victory down under and even if we lose we can go and win them back straight after.
 

superblue24

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You seem to suggest that we have a better chance of victory down under than in our own backyard?

I don't think you can argue with the fact that our batting is a stronger unit than theirs, in that even if our batting fails us, you wouldn't feel that the game is over as their batting line-up is pretty frail.

One other thing is that this lot seem a bit toothless. Nowhere near the passion of past sides imo.....
 

Yorkshire Blue

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Not that we have a better chance of victory down under but that it's a meaningless series as bragging rights will only last 3 months.

We should win at home. We've beaten them at home the last two times and this isn't a vintage crop. However this time last year (almost to the day) we were bowled out for 72.

That's one of six times since the start of last year that we've been bowled out for under 200 and we've lost 7 of the last 15 and drawn 3.

It's far from a forgone conclusion.
 

superblue24

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Got Henriques age wrong. I thought he was 21, but he's actually 26 so probably well ripe for an Ashes debut. His inclusion in India lends credence to my suspicions that he might feature this summer. Looks a hot prospect with the ball, and judging by his current innings, looks handy with the bat also!

Problem for the Aussies is they need at least another 2/3 like him!
 

southend4ever

I used to play a little.
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Not that we have a better chance of victory down under but that it's a meaningless series as bragging rights will only last 3 months.
We should win at home. We've beaten them at home the last two times and this isn't a vintage crop. However this time last year (almost to the day) we were bowled out for 72.

That's one of six times since the start of last year that we've been bowled out for under 200 and we've lost 7 of the last 15 and drawn 3.

It's far from a forgone conclusion.

Couldn't disagree more. Ashes meaningless. NO!
 

superblue24

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As suspected, their top order is not moving any mountains at the moment and I would suggest they will have a more torrid time over here in England. Their bowling seems to be massively out of sorts as well, which is encouraging for us.

Clarke the only stand out performer, although useful support from Henriques and Wade. Watson not looking in any kind of form, but I'm sure that will change when he comes to England.

Mind you, we have two tests against NZ to get through before we can start taking anything for granted.
 

superblue24

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Jeeez. Here's me pulling the Aussies to pieces and England go out and demonstrate how not to bat!!
 

Uncle Leo

This cook is an anti-semite
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However this time last year (almost to the day) we were bowled out for 72.

That's one of six times since the start of last year that we've been bowled out for under 200 and we've lost 7 of the last 15 and drawn 3.

Can't see that happening to this England batting line-up any time soon.

Oh...
 

MK Shrimper

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cricket/21740045

Suspended for not sending an email with 3 points on how to improve the team. Seriously Mickey Arthur? Isn't that your job?

Sounds like the jumping through hoops management ******** that I have to go through. :nope:

Still it's Australia, so who gives a dingo's butt!
 

superblue24

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After all that, Henrques has not had his contract renewed. Pretty surprised about this in all honesty, looks a handy player.

No Steve Smith either which is just as well as his face annoys me.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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I don't think Henriques had a contract last time. I suspect he's a sub-continent specialist for when they want to play two spinners.

The big news for me is that they are sticking with Hughes who having been found out against pace last time in England has now struggled even more against spin. He wasn't contracted last year.

They'll have to pick players who haven't got contracts though because they haven't go enough batsmen otherwise. Bailey's a batsman but has surely only been picked in his capacity as T20 captain.
 

Yorkshire Blue

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I am with you on Smith - has has the most smackable round moonface ever.

Whilst his face is as smackable as his bowling, I raise you Brad Williams.

3244_large-a1a42aca2be48a74c7f88e459f196c4c.jpg
 

superblue24

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Australia Ashes squad: Michael Clarke (captain), Brad Haddin (vice-captain), Jackson Bird, Ed Cowan, James Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Phil Hughes, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Shane Watson.
 

Grayson

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Long overdue for Chris Rogers. Can't believe he's only got one cap, especially considering the batting weaknesses in the last few years.
 
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