Winter 2017/18 brings the excitement of another Ashes contest, this time hosted by Australia. England were whitewashed last time they toured in 2013, but they regained the famous urn at home the following tournament.
England go into the Ashes with injury worries. Steven Finn has already been sent home to treat a knee cartilage tear. Moeen Ali has been on the sidelines during the warm-up matches nursing a side problem. Ben Stokes is unavailable for selection while he faces a widely publicised police investigation. James Anderson will be England’s key attacking bowler. 35-year-old Anderson is England’s all-time leading wicket-taker and he will be looking to add to the 506 test wickets he has to his name. Stuart Broad will be hoping he’s back to his fiery, match-changing best.
The Australians are widely regarded as favourites to win the Ashes. They have a fearsome attack with Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood. There are still big selection questions over who will take the vacant number 6 slot with several players using the last round of Shield matches to try and confirm their place. Steve Smith is currently the ICC top-rated batsman and as captain, he will be doing his best to put England’s bowling attack under pressure. His vice-captain David Warner is currently 5th in the rankings.
1st Test 23 – 27th November, The Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test 2nd – 6th December, The Adelaide Oval
3rd Test 14th – 18th December, WACA, Perth
4th Test 26th – 30th December, MCG, Melbourne
5th Test 4th – 8th December, SCG, Sydney
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