Ashes Preview

England have arrived in Australia for the 70th staging of the Ashes as they look to retain the urn and continue their recent domination over their arch-rivals.

The English have five of the last seven Ashes series, although only one of those victories has come Down Under.

The five-Test series begins at the famous Gabba in Brisbane on December 2nd, before heading to Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney

1st Test – 23–27 November 2017, The Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test – 2–6 December 2017, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
3rd Test – 14–18 December 2017, WACA Ground, Perth
4th Test – 26–30 December 2017, MCG, Melbourne
5th Test – 4–8 January 2018, SCG, Sydney


Captain – Joe Root is confident mood ahead of leading the party Down Under. 
“We want to be as ruthless as we can and start the tour as we mean to go on. We want to give guys the opportunity to play in the middle when those chances arise but at the same time not at the expense of losing and not being at our best. It is about making sure we apply ourselves and get what we want out of them by trying to win and getting into the habit of winning early in the tour.”

Coach –  Australian Trevor Bayliss is left with the unenviable task of replacing Ben Stokes, who is set to miss the tour due to his arrest earlier this year and subsequent legal and disciplinary issues.
“Everyone’s been concentrating on what we need to do, to win this series,You lose a player of Ben’s calibre, and it will make a bit of a difference. So we’re going to have to work out a different combination for the first Test and we’ve got three games to sort that out. I’m quite confident we can come up with a team that’s more than capable of winning.”

SquadJoe Root (Yorkshire) captain, Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Craig Overton (Somerset), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Tom Curran (Surrey)


Captain – Steve Smith is confident he can lead Australia to victory in his first Ashes as captain.
“From my point of view, it’s about getting into a contest and doing everything we can to win the game. It shouldn’t be too hard to get up for an Ashes series – you are playing for your country so, for me, it’s ensuring we get into a contest. The rivalry with England is always there. This is my fifth Ashes series, but my first as captain and I can’t wait to get out there. It’s an exciting series to be involved in.”
Coach – Darren Lehmann is expecting a hotly contested battle.
“It’s going to be a fiery series at different times but they all know each other reasonably well because they play so much cricket with and against each other these days. As long as it doesn’t go personal, and no one will go down that path, but I’m sure our boys will give as good as they get.”
Squad – Australia will name their squad on a Test by Test basis close to each game.

We spoke to BetFred’s Cricket trader Phil Crawford to get his view on the overall series

The Ashes build up has obviously centred upon the Ben Stokes debacle – as soon as the news broke the Aussie’s price to regain the Ashes crashed from 4/7 to 2/5.

If Stokes misses out on the tour (as seems likely) then it is a massive blow to England’s chance of holding on to the cherished urn. So in one word the Series betting is all about Australia !!

At this stage we are still waiting for the Aussie’s to announce their squad so the betting hasn’t really taken shape on the Batsman/Bowlers – but Joe Root is a strongly fancied favourite to top the England batting honours.

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