The forecast has been made that when Australia is meeting England in this year’s Ashes five-game series, it is two very much mediocre test cricket teams competing against each other. It was expected that England’s glorious moments after winning the World Cup, only two weeks before the start of the Ashes, might come crashing down and so it did.
England’s Ashes History
There have been 27 Ashes series over the last 50 years. During this period England has only lost the first test twice before then going on to winning the series. This happened in 1981 and 2005, and both of these are referred to as miracle series. History also teaches us that during these 50 years of Ashes, Australia has either won or drawn the first test in 17 of the series and then they have won the series. Will this year be a repeat of past events or are there other factors to keep in mind?
England’s Poor Luck
This year England’s loss of the first test can’t simply be summed up as a poor play on the English side. They were struck with a bit of bad luck. Not only did England end up without their best bowler only one hour in of play, but they are also competing against stronger players. The best spinner of the series is indeed in the Australian team. The same goes for the best batsman. Australia is also holding the best pace attack on the two sides.
In comparison, the English team is riddled with weaknesses. They have six players who are injured or unproven and only have five players to show who is in good form and possibly placed in the correct spot. This led to their humiliation in the first test — a loss which only added to the mental scars gained from previous Ashes results. For England to get back into the game, they would need to fight not only a physical battle on the field, but also overcome the mental demons which they are struggling with now.
The Australian Performance
Winning the first test in the series was a significant boost of confidence on the Aussie side. This became their first win at Edgbaston in any form, since 2001. The Australians came to England without any fear factor accompanying them. They were fully aware that they have four consecutive losses of the Ashes series on English soil, but taking the first test gave them back their power, according to Shane Warne.
He also mentioned that it seemed that the English weren’t worried about the Australians ability pre-series, but the Aussies’ performance has given them a reason for concern. Even previous captain of the 2005 English Ashes team, Michael Vaughan mentioned on social media that the Australians came prepared and in good shape. He also said that the local team is not showing the much-needed movement. What the next few weeks will deliver is still to be seen. It seems possible that the Ashes will turn out to be a much more exciting event than expected initially.