Full Ashes Preview And Tips on The World’s Foremost Test Series
We have already seen the ICC Cricket World Cup taking place this summer, when the rainy weather across England and Wales permitted it, but the top cricket action doesn’t end now that the tournament is over. Instead, we have the biggest Test Series in World Cricket, The Ashes, to look forward to as Australia and England lock horns once again over five test matches.
Ashes summers are always a very exciting time for cricket fans and it gives Joe Root’s team a chance to regain the Ashes after losing them in a heavy defeat in Australia in the last series between the teams a couple of years ago. England though haven’t experienced defeat against the Aussies on home soil for a while now. Can they continue their winning ways on home soil this summer?
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Let’s learn a little more about the Ashes Series, how it got its unusual name, when the five Test Series will be played and where and lastly, we will bring you our tips on how we see the series unfolding and who will eventually take the top prize.
The Ashes Series The Historical View
The Ashes is an unusual name for a test series between two teams and it stems from a newspaper report published in The Sporting Times in 1882, when Australia had beaten England at The Oval to claim the scalp. The report, written in the form of an obituary, claimed that this was the day English cricket had finally died and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”.
At that moment, it was nothing more than a throwaway line in a tongue-in-cheek report, but when England set sail to play in Australia later in 1882, captain Ivo Bligh stated that he intended to “regain those ashes” and the tour became known as The Quest to Regain The Ashes.
After England’s win on Australian soil, the team were presented with an urn, reportedly containing the ashes of a wooden bail, and so the legend of the Ashes tour was born.
Historically, the series between the teams have seen one team tend to dominate over several test series in a row and it is only in recent times that we have seen teams winning alternate series regularly.
- 330 Test Matches Played
- 134 Wins for Australia
- 106 Wins for England
- 90 Draws
- 70 Ashes Series Played
- 33 Wins for Australia
- 32 Wins for England
- 5 Drawn Series
- Most Ashes Runs Scored – Sir Donald Bradman (Australia) – 5028
- Most Ashes Wicket Taker – Shane Warne (Australia) – 195
- Biggest Australian Margin of Victory – 5-0 (1920/21, 2006/07, 2013/14)
- Biggest English Margin of. Victory – 5-1 (1978/79)
- Australia’s last victory in an Ashes Series in England – 2001 (4-1 victory)
The Ashes Series 2019
The five tests will be played at the regular Ashes venues across the UK throughout August and September. The schedule for the games is as follows:
- First Test – 1st – 5th August 2019 – Edgbaston, Birmingham
- Second Test – 14th – 18th August 2019 – Lord’s, London
- Third Test – 22nd – 26th August 2019 – Headingly, Leeds
- Fourth Test – 4th-8th September 2019 – Old Trafford, Manchester
- Fifth Test – 12th – 16th September 2019 – The Oval, London
In addition to the glamour of an Ashes series, this five test series will also be the first in the new ICC World Test Championship tournament, an attempt to bring together international Test Series between teams to come up with a new competition to find out the best Test team in World Cricket.
The tournament will see the top nine test nations in the world play a total of six test series over two years, with the top two ranked sides at the end of that period meeting in a final test series in England, which is scheduled to take place in the summer of 2021.
Joe Root’s men have a big task ahead of them trying to regain the Ashes once again. The Australian test side is ranked higher than England in the Test Rankings and there is no doubt that they are the more consistent team.
However, when England get it right, they are a formidable outfit and their strength is in their ability to bat right down the order and they need to avoid batting collapses, which have been the scourge of England’s poorer test performances in recent times, if they are to land a win in the series here.
England’s bowling attack is something of an unknown quantity, James Anderson apart, and it will be interesting to see if the bowlers can skittle out a talented Australian batting line up. If they can then England have a chance to do well here. If not, then we could see plenty of runs being scored in this series and a lot of pressure put on the batsmen.
Tim Paine is Australia’s new test captain and he will be reliant on some strong Australian batting talent, such as David Warner, Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Steve Smith to help the Aussies score enough runs against what is perceived by many as a limited England attack.
If they can score big in most innings, then this team has the quality with the ball in hand through the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Josh Hazlewood to give England some real problems.
We know the Aussies will be up for a battle and they always make the series in England a very close call, even if they are on the losing side, but they will want to end that losing streak going back to 2001 and they have a good chance of doing that this year.
England will live or die by their batting quality in my view and I just feel Australia have the edge in terms of consistency and greater depth with the bowling attack. As such, I am predicting a very close series but one that Australia will probably just edge.