The Ashes Series 2021/22 Preview – Will Australia’s Dominance Continue?

Tomorrow, the first test match of the 2021/22 Ashes Series will get underway at The Gabba in Brisbane, with Australia seeking to hold onto the Ashes for a third series in succession against an England team that have a poor record when playing in Australia.

The Australians regained the Ashes from England in their home series four years ago, winning 4-1, and then two years later, they emerged with a draw with England in the five-test series to retain the Ashes ahead of this test match series.

It is fair to say that Australian hopes will have been bolstered by their recent T20 World Cup win over New Zealand in the final, an unexpected win in the shorter version of the game, but one which will give the Aussies added confidence.

England’s test match form has been erratic to say the least with a number of batting collapses blighting performances, even when their bowlers have managed to seemingly sway the game in England’s favour.

It promises to be a hugely interesting series of matches and it gets underway tomorrow night, so now is the perfect time to check out all the betting action on the first test and the series with bet365 Sport.

Get up to €100 in Bet Credits for new customers at bet365 Bet365 Review
Min deposit €5 Up to €100 in Bet Credits
Bet Credits available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply. The bonus code BET247 can be used during registration, but does not change the offer amount in any way.

Let’s now learn a little more about this most famous of cricket test series to discover how it became called The Ashes.

How The Ashes Came To Be Named

The first few test matches and series between England and Australia were not called The Ashes and it was in 1882 that the first use of the phrase was used.

Australia managed to defeat England at The Oval, and this stunned the establishment in England who felt the home side were almost invincible on home soil. Such was the shock that the following day, a mock obituary appeared in The Sporting Times newspaper which proclaimed the death of English cricket at the Oval on that day and added the phrase.

“N.B – The body will be cremated, and the ashes taken to Australia.”

Two years later, England captain Ivo Bligh commented that he wanted to lead the team to ‘recover those Ashes’. After initially being used as a phrase for the series, it soon declined in popularity but by 1903, the term was being used for the series once again and has been used ever since.

Ashes Victories

As you would expect from a closely contested series, the Ashes series are almost evenly split between the two teams. Australia lead with 33 Ashes wins, England have 32 to their name and just six series have been drawn. However, of those drawn series, Australia have retained the Ashes in five of them havoing started the series as the holders.

They will do so again having held England to a rare 2-2 series draw back in 2019 and they will be confident of winning this time around as they enjoy a fantastic record on home soil against England.

Ashes History

1932/33 Ashes – This series of games in Australia became famous for England’s aggressive ‘bodyline’ bowling to combat the genius of Aussie batting star Don Bradman. Captain Jardine employed these tactics, which infuriated Australians as they were not in the spirit of the game. Harold Larwood was the bowler who epitomised this form of attack, which fractured the skull of one Australian player and enraged the locals. However, it proved effective as England won the series.

1981 Ashes – Perhaps the most famous Ashes test match in history came in the Second Test at Headingly. With Australia 1-0 up from the first test and looking very likely to go 2-0 up, Ian Botham scored a superb 149 not out to leave the Aussies chasing a meagre total of just over 120 to land the win. However, Botham and team mate Bob Willis tore through the Australian batsman to lead England to a shock win and they would then go on to win the Ashes 3-1.

1989 – 2003 Ashes Series – This was Australia’s golden era in the competition when they won eight consecutive Ashes series, winning 28 tests in total with England managing to land victory in just seven. This legendary Australian era saw some of their best ever players beat England 4-1 three times, 3-0 and 4-0 in crushing defeats. England ended that run in 2003 with a narrow win on home soil but two years later Andrew Flintoff’s team were thrashed 5-0 in Australia, their third whitewash on Australian soil in Ashes history.

The Teams

Australia Squad – Pat Cummins (Captain), Steve Smith (Vice Captain), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.

  • Australia’s First Test Team – David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazelwood.

England Squad – Joe Root (Captain), Jos Buttler (Vice Captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

  • England’s First Test Team – Joe Root, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Haseeb Hameed, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Ashes Test Schedule

As is now the custom for the series, the Ashes will be contested over five test matches throughout December and into January. The five test match dates and venues are as follows:

  • First Test – 8th December – 12th December – The Gabba, Brisbane
  • Second Test –15th December – 20th December – Adelaide Oval
  • Third Test – 25th December – 30th December – MCG, Melbourne
  • Fourth Test – 4th January – 9th January – SCG, Sydney
  • Fifth Test – 14th January – 19th January – WACA, Perth

What Are The Current First Test And Ashes Series Odds?

With news of both the teams filtering through, the odds on England winning the first test have drifted slightly to 4/1, which is likely on the back of the news that James Anderson will be rested for the first test. Australia are 10/11 to win in Brisbane with 2/1 on the drawn test match.

There’s not much solace for England fans in the outright market either with the bookmakers having Australia the 1/3 favourites to win the series, England 9/2 while it is 7/1 on the draw.

My gut feeling is that Australia will win the series 3-1 and that they will also pick up the first of those wins in that first test starting tomorrow.