Well, one of the greatest and longest running rivalries in sport has commenced again with the start of the 2019 cricket Ashes test series between Australia and England yesterday at Edgbaston. For me, both teams have one of the weakest and inexperienced Test squads selected for the prostigious series.
Excluding Steve Smith, Joe Root, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Ben Stokes, David Warner, Jimmy Anderson and Josh Hazelwood, both squads do not have players of proven Test quality both on home and opposing venues. I am surprised that Mitchell Starc one of the top strike bowlers in Test cricket has been left out of the Australian team for the first Test at Edgbaston. A conservative decision from the Australians who are relying on the line and length seamers of the veteran Peter Siddle who has been performing well for Essex in the County Championship. The inclusion of the fast and whole hearted James Pattinson ahead of the unrelenting line and length and skillful Josh Hazelwood is another surprise selection. Pattinson has not played for Australia in a Test since February 2016 away in New Zealand.
As for England, a determined and resolute 125 not out by the inexperienced Rory Burns by the end of the second day’s play has helped to justify his selection. He was in poor form leading up to this Test match not registering a score above 50 in his last 14 innings prior to Edgbaston. For me, the England top order looks fragile with questions marks on the temperament and technique of Jason Roy, Joe Denly, Rory Burns and Josh Buttler for red ball cricket. Captain Joe Root has made the decision to go up the batting order from number 4 to 3 to add stability and experience to the start of the innings.
Cricket Conclusive predict that England will win the Ashes series 2 to 1 to follow the trend of home victories that continues to plague Test cricket at the moment. The games will be closely contested where the inconsistent batting line ups and weather playing a major factor in the results. Maintaining the fitness of the key bowlers Jimmy Anderson, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc and Chris Woakes will also play a large part in determining the outcome of the series.
Here are the predicted Test by Test results:-
First Test:- Edgbaston – England win.
Second Test: – Lords – Australia win.
Third Test:- Headingley – Draw.
Fourth Test:- Old Trafford – England win.
Fifth Test:- The Kia Oval – Draw.
Let me know your views and predictions.