The Ashes 2017-18 (Preview)

The Ashes 2017-18 is going to start from 23rd November as England take on Australia in the five-match series. Joe Root’s side has done well in the warm-up games leading up to the first game of the series. Steven Smith also had a lot of time getting himself prepared for the series as the Australian captain has not been in the best of form coming into the contest.

Cricket Australia named their 16-man squad for the series as Shaun Marsh and Cameron Bancroft have been selected for their good performances at the domestic level. Marsh has not done anything extraordinary but selectors felt he was experienced player who would be useful coming at no.6 in the batting order. Uncapped Cameron Bancroft has topped the batting charts in this season of Sheffield Shield Cricket.

Usman Khuwaja also has been in good form as he is best suited to bat in Australian conditions. For Australia, David Warner and Steven Smith are key players in the batting lineup so they will have to do most of the scoring. Warner was exceptional in the last two-match test series played against Bangladesh. The left-handed batsman will have to shoulder the burden of getting Australia off to good starts but it won’t be easy as England have a quality attack with Stuart Broad, James Anderson and Chris Woakes in the lineup.

The most shocking news has come in the form of Tim Paine’s inclusion in the squad as the wicket-keeper batsman has hardly played a four-day game in the last three years. Peter Nevill was touted to take the gloves from out of form Matthew Wade but lost his place to Paine. Selectors feel that Paine would do a reasonable job in the series and is the best wicket-keeper in the country at the moment.

England has reasons to be confident after weird selections by Australia leading up to the series. The visitors lost their talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes who faced suspension after getting involved in a brawl during the home series against West Indies. England new breed of players in Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan did well in the warm-up games played before the first Test. Stoneman looked in good form and is keen to do well in the series. Alastair Cook has not got many runs but he will be determined to find his form in the first game of the series. Chris Woakes also looks good with the ball in hand in the warm-up games.

The first game of the Ashes 2017-18 series will be played at Gabba, Brisbane from 23rd-27th November. The second game will be staged at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide from 2nd to 6th December. The other games will be played in Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney respectively.

The five-match test series will be followed by five-match one-day series that will start from 14th January at Melbourne Cricket Ground. The other venues for the one-day series will be played at Brisbane, Sydney, Adelaide, and Perth.

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