The Ashes series is all set to begin on Wednesday (December 8) at Gabba in Brisbane. Australia held on to the trophy after drawing the last series 2-2 in England. They had won 4-0 during the 2017 Ashes series at home. England have not won the Ashes in Australia since 2010-11. Skipper Joe Root said the Ashes will define his captaincy. He also said the side will take learnings from India and manage to do well in Australia.
The task though remains tough as Australia in recent times have dominated England at home. Australia’s bowling led by Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Nathan Lyon will pose a stern challenge. The batting also looks settled with Steven Smith and David Warner finding form in Test cricket.
Cricketer-turned-expert Mitchell Johnson feels Australia will win the series 3:2. He feels the hosts know condition a lot better than England.
“I have previously been saying 3-1 to Australia, but haven’t been totally confident with it. There are a lot of variables and if there is a second pink-ball Test, it could be very tight. I have Australia just in front because they know the conditions well.
Prediction: Australia 3-2 England.
Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath feels the hosts will win 5-0. He says the first Test is crucial and if Australia win it, they will clinch the Ashes.
“Do I predict with my heart or my head? I’ve painted myself into a corner in that if I say anything other than 5-0, people will say I’m not confident anymore. The first Test is very important. If Australia can get off to a good start then, fair enough, 5-0.
Both teams have a few issues and it will be who settles the quickest. I’m predicting an Australia win – not 5-0, but if they are dominant in the first Test I might readjust.
Prediction: Australia 5-0 England (depending on the result of the first Test).
Commentator Alison Mitchell has predicted a 2-2 scoreline. The expert feels with Cummins being elevated to the captaincy, the dynamics of the team might change.
“The series might be a lot more even than people who are favouring Australia presume. The fact that Pat Cummins have been elevated to captaincy is a bit of an unknown and changes the dynamic among the team. It will come down to how many times England can take 20 wickets and how many times their batters can withstand the much-vaunted Australia bowling attack. England will have their best chance in the day-night Test in Adelaide and if the final Test does end up being in Hobart that might better suit them too.
Prediction: Australia 2-2 England.