johnsantaclaws wrote: ↑
Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:16 pm
I was at the Sydney Test in 1991 and then again in 1995. I love the ground; perhaps even slightly more than Lord's.
The England side for this series looks weak.
Does Root have enough experience of captaincy, and was Anderson really a wise choice as his deputy?
Can Cook still thrive at this level or does he need at least one dropped chance in the slips early in his innings?
Will the newish batsmen be able to score runs against the Aussies in Test matches?
Are Anderson and Broad over the hill and, if so, can the new seam bowlers replace them?
Only Root, Bairstow and Ali seem dependable.
(1) I cannot recall an Ashes series where the outcome seemed so uncertain; but
(2) whatever does happen will quickly be described as "inevitable".
Yes, a weaker and much less settled side than the one which was thumped 5-0 last time around. The only area in which England appear to have an edge is in the late middle order, which has constantly prospered in recent series. Australia are not without their uncertainties but, in Warner, Khawaja and Smith, possess three top order bats who are beasts on their own pitches. The seam attack might not look as decisively powerful as the Johnson-Harris axis but I'd expect it to have sufficient quality on home turf. And the perennially under-rated Nathan Lyon is having the most prosperous year of his career to date.
The Brisbane factor looms large. Now the traditional opening venue for Ashes series Down Under, Australia have won 21 and lost 0 of their past 28 matches there. Do England have enough to avoid defeat at The Gabba and cancel one of Australia's banker cards, as they did seven years ago?
I fear they don't, and so haven't taken the plunge to sign up to BT Sport. It's not because I can't stomach an England defeat (indeed, losing the Ashes Down Under means the mouth-watering prospect of another English Summer with the urn to be won back) but I need a proper competitive contest if I'm to ruin my body clock over the Winter.
But, I'll be delighted to be proved wrong and have to go scurrying to the BT hotline come mid-December.