Australia To Retain The Ashes
- The 2017-2018 series was won by Australia and they will be doing their best to retain The Ashes for one more year. The last time they won an Ashes Test Series in England was in 2001, with the help of Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting and other cricket stars and their divine interventions, and we expect to see some real comebacks this year as well on English soil. On the other hand, England has won their last five Edgbaston Tests, including against the Australians by 8 wickets back in 2015.
Plus, the context is more interesting this year: after many long years of careful planning and several false starts, the World Test Championship has been finally introduced as a means of bringing greater context to Test match cricket. This means each Test that will be played under the WTC will count towards the overall points table. The pressure is even greater and the Australians appear to have what it takes to retain The Ashes, thanks to figures like Steve Smith and David Warner that are turning the batting line-up into a much more powerful one. We cannot forget about the excellent shape that Wade and Labuschagne seem to be in – we cannot wait to see them give their best. The lighting-fast bowling stocks are the Ace up Aussies' sleeve, with Cummins and Pattinson getting ready to hunt English bats together with Starc, Siddle, and Hazlewood. Aussies really want to hold on to the urn for a few more years, by the looks of their battling line.
Cummins has quietly returned to Test cricket in the shadows of Starc and Hazlewood, and he has turned into the attack leader over the past year and a half. With Starc being hindered against India and Hazlewood trying to offer the same threat when conditions simply weren't in his favour, Cummins continued to grow and prove himself. He took 22 wickets in South Africa and 28 wickets in total in the series against India and Sri Lanka. Being close to the maximum of his power, he is considered the leading fast bowler in the world. His stamina seems to be helping him withstand a Test series, which makes him the right choice at 12/5 to finish the series as the leading Australian bowler.
Given the rumours regarding some Australian players cheating by tampering with their balls in the previous series, a win or a draw would help players wipe their reputations clean. A loss would mean dealing with old allegations, especially in the English media.