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Ashes Preview: Australia have the edge

One of the most exciting Test series of the year, Ashes 2021-22 is starting on Wednesday.

The opening match of the series will be played from 8th December to 12th December 2021.

Ashes is one of the popular and famous series in the history of test cricket.

This will be the 73rd edition of the Ashes.

Out of those 72 series, Australia has won 33 times, while England has managed to win on 32 occasions.

Australian squad

Australia will play this series under the leadership of a new captain, Pat Cummins.

Cummins was named as Australia’s new red-ball skipper because Tim Paine has resigned from the captaincy role.

The hosts have already named their playing XI for the first Test match against England.

Warner is key

David Warner, who had terrible Ashes last time, is set to open the innings for his side alongside Marcus Harris, who has shown great form in domestic cricket.

David Warner has played only 2 Tests in the last 23 months.  

He was totally out of form in the past 12 months.

However, Warner has regained his form and he was also the Player of the Tournament in the T20 world cup that was played last month.

He will be the key player for Australia in this series 

Things become a lot easier for the middle-order if Warner score runs with the bat in the top position.

Lot depends on Steve Smith

Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne will be the biggest assets for team Australia in the middle-order.

Steve Smith was simply outstanding in the last Ashes.

He played some unbelievable cricket in the 2019-20 Ashes.

He was also the leading run scorer in that series scoring 774 runs at an average of 110.57 in the 7 innings of the 4 matches including 3 hundreds (out of which 1 was a double hundred)and 3 fifties.

Marnus Labuschagne was the second-star performer with the bat for Australia in the last Ashes as he scores 353 runs in 7 innings at an average of 50.42.

The Australian team would be hoping that these two replicate similar performances in this Ashes as well.  

Alex Carey will be the wicketkeeper for Australia in the absence of Tim Paine.

Strong pace attack

Australia will go into the Ashes with their same relentless pace attack, including Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and the number-ranked Test bowler and their skipper Pat Cummins.

Nathan Lyon will be their front-line spinner and he has 399 wickets at the moment in Test cricket.

One more scalp will help him to reach the magical 400-wicket landmark in Test cricket.

England squad 

England have a very tough task in their hands.

They will face the brutal pace attack of the Australian side in Australian conditions and to be honest, England isn’t the best batting line-up in the longest format right now.

England has a brilliant batting lineup in white-ball cricket but in Test cricket, the English batters are struggling to score big runs in the last couple of years.

There will be a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the skipper Joe Root, who has been in the form of his life.

Root is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket in 2021, he has scored 1455 runs at an average of 66.13, including 6 centuries and 1 half-century.

Though these stats are enough to describe his form right now in Test cricket, he is yet to score a Test century in Australia.

With the form he is in, Root will be hoping to improve his record in Australia this time.

Root will be the key player for England in this series and if England wants to win the Ashes, Root will have to perform brilliantly.

Stokes returns

The return of the star all-rounder Ben Stokes will be the biggest encouragement for England.  

Australia wouldn’t have forgotten what Ben Stokes did in the last Ashes series. His presence in the team will give a lot of courage and confidence to the side.

England has rested the experienced James Anderson in the first Test match in order to have him fully fit for the pink-ball Test in Adelaide.

The likes of Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, and Ollie Robinson will form the seam attack.

It will be very exciting and interesting to see if England go with the five-specialist fast bowlers or will Jack Leach makes his place in the playing 11 for the first test match.

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