It’s nearly time for the Ashes series to begin at The Gabba in Brisbane with a lot of hype around England heading over to retain their status as the holders of the urn. Australia though have other ideas and are hell bent on ending the series as Ashes champions once again and there’s certainly plenty of signs that they’re in with a great shout. For a start, no travelling international side has much success Down Under but there are plenty of other reasons to suggest they could be victorious too.
First of all, there is the hoodoo that England will face when they come to Australia and Brisbane in particular. Australia beat England 5-0 last time they visited for The Ashes series, and they currently hold a 29 year unbeaten record in Brisbane. Not only that but England have only managed to win the Ashes series twice in the last 30 years Down Under and that will give the Aussies a significant psychological edge as they look to reclaim the little urn which they lost in England back in 2015.
Australia will also be looking to capitalise on the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has proven himself to be a key part of the England set up. What Stokes has got, apart from obvious talent, is a lot of heart and desire and that would have been crucial for England heading into the tour. The Aussies certainly have a better chance of winning with Stokes absent especially with him being probably the most explosive all-rounder in world cricket right now and he’s also the England vice-captain too.
Home support could certainly be decisive in the series too. The Aussies are well known for backing their side in numbers and being extremely vocal throughout. With Australia extremely likely to win in Brisbane, that will only see their support become even more vocal. This feeling has been echoed by sports betting brands like Unibet having the Aussies 3/4 favourites and England 3/1 to win the match. If the expected result comes to past, this will be a huge lift and confidence boost for the Aussies; and it could make life extremely difficult for England too. If Australia get on top, the noise will grow and it will be England who suffer as a result.
Australia coach Darren Lehmann has also spoken in the press recently and said that after England’s Ashes warn up games he has identified a few flaws that they’ll look to target. It’s evident, especially after an unimpressive run of form lately, that England have problems not just in the side that they put out but in their squad as a whole. Even though it’s largely history and previous visits Down Under that see Australia heavy favourites to win the series, there are definitely weaknesses to England’s game and the Aussies will certainly be looking to exploit them to gain the advantage.
England will head into their Ashes defence feeling that they do stand a chance of retaining the urn, no matter how slim. Australia on the other hand know that this is a series that they should win. With a great record on home soil, extremely vocal support at every ground and Ben Stokes absent for England, the Aussies have a great chanc