Next Wednesday will see the start 69th series of The Ashes between Australia and England, and with the recent behind the scenes changes, and upturn in form hopes are high the boys can win back the coveted urn.
Before the last Ashes series in 2013-14 England had won 3 in a row, but a disjointed and chaotic tour resulted in some woeful performances both individually and collectively and culminated in an embarrassing 5-0 defeat in which the 10 innings resulted in England not even reaching 200 runs on 6 separate occasions.
A year of change followed which saw head coach Peter Moores depart and Trevor Bayliss appointed. Ironically now Aussie Bayliss is now plotting the downfall of the country of his birth.
Bayliss has made a positive start with some impressive performances in their most recent outing against New Zealand, although naturally there was still controversy when popular (as least in terms of the fans) and spectacular big hitter Kevin Pieterson was not included in the squad.
The squad does however included Captain Alastair Cook, and Vice-Captain Joe Root, the ever improving wicket keeper Jos Butler, and five players whom haven’t feature in an Ashes series before with those being Adil Rashid, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Adam Lyth and Mark Wood - who have not played in an Ashes series.
Of the previous 68 tests series Australia are winning 32-31 with 5 draws.
The upcoming order of the test series is as follows:
First Test: 8th-12th July at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Second Test: 16th-20th July at Lord’s, London
Third Test: 29th July-2nd August at Edgbaston, Birmingham
Fourth Test: 6th-10th August at Trent Bridge, Nottingham
Fifth Test: 20th-24th August at The Oval, London