With the furore over Cardiff being awarded the first Ashes cricket test still bubbling, here’s a run down on each venue for England v Australia and how the results might pan out.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting will be praying that the rumours of a sideways turning Cardiff wicket prove to be complete fallacy when the Ashes series begins on Wednesday.
England’s cricketers face a monumental task if they are to regain the Ashes they surrendered so meekly in 2006/07. Forget 2005 for a moment and take a longer-term view. Since the turn of the 20th Century, England have managed just 17 victories in Ashes series, compared to Australia’s 30, as they have regularly been confounded technically and mentally.
Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has confirmed the recent rumours and announced his immediate retirement from all cricket.
England may argue that they were unlucky to exit the World Twenty20 following a five-wicket defeat by West Indies but the simple truth is that they batted poorly throughout the tournament.
In the end, few would have missed the irony. England, their feeble limited overs credentials torn apart after their opening defeat against Netherlands, knocking out holders India from the World Twenty20 with a brilliant execution of strategy.
In an earlier post, Julian Linden argued that Australia’s cricketers have all the firepower needed to retain the Ashes in England despite some relatively new faces in the squad.