With under 24 hours to go until the start of the 2015 Ashes Series the anticipation is reaching fever pitch. Eventmasters are delighted to provide official cricket hospitality packages including Trent Bridge hospitality for the fourth Ashes Test and KIA Oval hospitality for the fifth Ashes Test. Don’t miss your chance to see the Ashes in style with our cricket hospitality packages.
Michael Clarke’s side arrive on the back of a 5-0 series win Down Under in 2013, England will be desperate for revenge. But on paper the Australian line-up looks much stronger than England’s so is there anyway Alastair Cook and co can pull a series win out of the bag like Michael Vaughn’s men did in 2005? It’s hard to believe it is 10 years since the “greatest series ever”.
The 2005 Ashes will live long in the memory, the all-conquering Australian’s arrived with one of the greatest test cricket sides in the history of the game packed full of stars Warne, McGrath, Gilchrist, Ponting, Hayden, and Langer to name a few. But England beat the odds with an inspirational summer of cricket Andrew Flintoff bamboozled the Aussies with his expert bowling, while Kevin Pietersen blasted big scores left, right and centre.
While this Australian side is some way off comparisons to that great side of 2005, they are ranked number two in the world four places above England. They boast the world’s number one test batsman Steve Smith and one of the most lethal bowlers in Mitchell Johnson, who is their key man. If he is allowed to get on top and dominate he can be unstoppable.
But there is hope, Johnson took 37 wickets in the series in Australia but has failed to fire on his visits to England, in 2009 he took 20 wickets but conceded 651 runs. It can be argued that the dry and fast conditions of Australia suit his style of bowling more than swinging conditions provided in the UK.
England have the record wicket taker, Jimmy Anderson, amongst their ranks and he always seems to come alive for the Ashes. His ability to swing the ball both ways and bowl a consistent line and length make him a key man for England. Anderson’s battle with Smith will be crucial, the Aussies has five centuries in his last six tests and if he gets in it could be a long day in the field for the hosts, removing him early is key.
Whichever bowling attack can get on top will dictate the way this series goes, will it be Anderson or Johnson? We shall know soon enough. Then we come to the batting, Cook seemed to find some form at the end of the series against New Zealand and he has shown before in Ashes series how devastating he can be.
Ian Bell by contrast struggled for form, but he has class in bucket loads and England will back him to rediscover his form. Gary Ballance averages 52 in test cricket, while Joe Root has been the star of this side for the last 18 months. There are definitely runs in this batting line-up.
There is no doubt that Australia will enter the series as strong favourites, they are in good form have world class players throughout their line-up and are settled. England are a young side with explosive match winners but need consistency. The first test as always is so important.
England need to capture the spirit of 2005 and forget the drubbing they suffered in Australia two years ago. They need their big players and personalities to show up in the big moments. Let’s hope for history to repeat itself, let’s hope for another series like 2005.
For more information on our fantastic cricket hospitality packages for the Ashes, including Trent Bridge hospitality packages (4th Test) and KIA Oval hospitality packages (5th Test) please follow the links.
England v Australia Wed 8–Sun 12 July – 1st Investec Ashes Test – to SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
Thu 16–Mon 20 July – 2nd Investec Ashes Test – Lord’s.
Mon 31 Aug – NatWest International T20 – SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff.
Thu 3 Sept – 1st Royal London ODI (Day/Night) – Ageas Bowl, Hampshire.
Sat 5 Sept – 2nd Royal London ODI – Lord’s.
Sun 13 Sept – 5th Royal London ODI – Emirates Old Trafford.