Quick England preview
Just four hours to go until the Ashes begins, at last. It's one of the most hyped series in recent memory, and I'm already sick of it. The media coverage has been so intense that I fully expect individual marks out of ten to appear on a session-by-session basis.
England's top six is a sub-editor's dream. Flintoff and Pietersen make their own headlines; Strauss, Cook, and Bell have obvious puns; and as for Collingwood, I'm sure the Aussies can find a comparison
. The odd men of those six are the men in form. Strauss, in particular, has been playing extremely aggressively of late. Ian Bell seems to have kept his good form ticking over from the English summer, and Kevin Pietersen is Kevin Pietersen.
From the bowling perspective, Hoggard and Anderson are the key men. There are question marks over the other bowlers and what their contribution will be, for one reason and another, and these two may well have to bowl a lot of overs. Australia aren't scared of either of them, but nor were they scared of Simon Jones at the start of the last series.
Personally, I'm very optimistic (I don't like making predictions). There is absolutely no doubt that England are up against it - which team isn't when touring Australia? It's also in England's favour that no-one really expects anything other than Australian domination at Brisbane, much as the same could be expected at Lord's.
Labels: ashes, ashes 2006