So the Ashes are finally here - next Wednesday sees the much anticipated clash get under way
Here are some of my predictions:
England 4-0 Australia
I think rain will play a part somewhere, but we’re just too strong for them.
England: Alastair Cook
It was close between Cook and James Anderson - but with Cooky opening the batting and also leading the team out - I plumped for him.
Australia: James Pattinson
It will be crucial that the Aussies bowl well and Pattinson (pictured right) will be their main man with the cherry.
THE KEY BATTLE:
It has to be James Anderson with the new ball to Shane Watson.
Watson is a class act once he gets going and Cook (pictured right) will be looking to Jimmy to remove him early if possible.
Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Bairstow, Prior, Swann, Broad, Anderson, Finn.
Watson, Rogers, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Harris, Starc, Pattinson.
It is really important that England don’t go into the series in a complacent manner.
I think if they go in focused and do their jobs as a team, they will have far too much for them.
They just aren’t good enough. It’s as simple as that.
The appointment of Darren Lehmann will give them a shot in the arm to start with, but I’m not sure that will last that long.
I’m very, very confident that England are going to do a job on the Aussies and if not for rain, they could easily push for the 5-0 whitewash victory in the end.
If we get Watson and skipper Michael Clarke out without them cashing in then they look very weak in the batting department, and I fully expect Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn to be too good for them.
As most, if not all cricket fans will be, I’m really excited for all the talking to stop and for the cricket to begin now.
I’m confident we will do the business and then go Down Under this winter and do so again.
Thanks for reading