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Ashes Series Preview: Will home advantage see Australia regain the urn?

Rippa Staff 2 Oct 2017
  • England hold the Ashes
  • Australia won 5-0 last time the series was held Down Under

Modern cricket may have embraced T20 with full fervour and the success of IPL and Big Bash may have cast a shadow on the future of Test Cricket. But without a doubt, Ashes is still the game’s most important series that captures the imagination of every cricket fan in every corner of the world.

The five-match series that started in 1882 and is played between the game’s oldest Test nations will be played Down Under with the first match scheduled at the Gabba, Brisbane, from November 23.

Overall, both sides are on an equal footing with 32 series wins each in 136 years of Ashes competition. The form book goes out of the window when sport’s fiercest rivals come face-to-face which makes it more interesting. So, who holds the aces?

Ashes Series Preview

Steve Smith’s side lost a fiercely contested Test series in India by 2-1 and followed it up with a 1-1 series result against Bangladesh. Both series have been played in sub-continent conditions which is not ideal preparation for the Ashes.

This team, though, has the right players to win the urn back. David Warner’s ability to rack up big scores at the top of the order combined with Smith’s endurance and obstinate displays will be vital for the hosts. Bowling will be led by Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood although both are currently recuperating from injuries.

However, all is not rosy as question marks hover around their number six – will it be Glenn Maxwell or another seam-bowling all-rounder? The uncertainty around Mathew Wade’s spot is not helping either as the ‘keeper continues to flop with the bat.

Man-to-man England will win Ashes hands down. But, as seen in the recent series against West Indies, England continue to be over-reliant on their star players – captain Joe Root, all-rounders Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali together with seamer James Anderson.

But, there are concerns around at least three places in the squad. ‘Who will partner Alastair Cook at the top’ has already become the most screened play for the Poms. Root’s position in the XI is still uncertain while number five batsman is an unknown too.

Stokes and Moeen have been playing the saving act so frequently that if they fail, Root’s men look clueless. The pressure of playing Down Under and a first-time Ashes captain could also put England in a tight spot.


Whatever their performance away from home, Australia are a tough cookie at home. They have won six of their past seven Test series at home – with only South Africa able to go past the Kangaroos since 2012. England’s record away from home is almost a mirror-image as they won just once in their previous seven Test series away from home.

What about the Ashes results? Australia have won 140 while England won 108 of the 341 matches played so far. Since 2005, seven Ashes series have been played of which five have been won by England. The visitors are the holders of the urn having won the previous series 3-2 although they were whitewashed 5-0 last time Down Under.


Both teams have issues of their own which makes this series a great spectacle for the neutrals. It looks like anybody’s series for the moment although Australia have a slight edge at home.

The hosts are favourites at odds of $1.62 (Sportsbet) while England are at odds of $3.75 (Ladbrokes). Odds of $7.50 (Sportsbet) suggests the draw looks highly unlikely.


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Ashes Series Preview: Will home advantage see Australia regain the urn?

The Ashes series gets under way at the Gabba, Brisbane, from November 23. Will Australia get the urn back?

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