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Monday, October 18, 2021

It will be tough for England to win Ashes series Down Under – Aussies can be cruel

If players on both sides stay fit then you have to admit the Australian bowling unit is far superior to England’s in Australian conditions.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad have been brilliant in English conditions but it is much tougher in Australia and neither of them have exceptional records down under. They have enjoyed odd good moments. Anderson’s best chance is the day-night Test in Adelaide where he was nearly a match-winner on the last tour. 

Anderson will be mean and clever and hard to score off but a match-winner? Not easy.

The best thing Broad can do is get David Warner out early. Warner does not know where his off stump is when Broad bowls around the wicket. He gets him playing at wide balls, then he starts working straight balls to leg, misses and is out lbw. 

Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson are right to be selected but are English-type seamers. Plenty of them have gone to Australia in the past and found the going too tough. Chris Woakes, for all his skill in England, has never done it overseas. His average runs per wicket abroad is 51.68 compared to 22.63 at home.

The biggest positive for our bowling unit is Australia are not great at batting either. They have three good players: Warner, Steve Smith and new boy Marnus Labuschagne. Don’t underestimate him. He is a very good player with a very good technique. 

Dom Bess and Jack Leach are our best spinners but their records are patchy. We hardly ever pick them so we can’t rate them that highly. 

Our biggest plus could be Mark Wood. He can generate serious pace to unsettle and rattle any of their batsmen. But there is a big question mark over his fitness. He has a history of injuries, especially ankle problems and their pitches are like concrete. Banging that front foot down on surfaces with no give puts extra strain on that ankle. 

But the most important thing of all is do England’s players have the desire and commitment to succeed? If yes then they have a chance. If not, then Australia will win comfortably.

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