What to Expect from the Ashes in 2023?

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This summer promises to be a feast for cricket fans. The Ashes returns to English soil from June, as Australia look to retain the Ashes once again. There is significant optimism surrounding the English camp, after the impressive overhaul of “Bazball” overseen by new head coach, Brendan McCullum, and new captain, Ben Stokes. England’s new aggressive, front-foot approach has captured the imagination of cricket fans worldwide, but can it work in the white-hot heat of battle in the Ashes?

The Ashes series always has twists and turns that make it conducive to live betting, with the odds fluctuating with every wicket and every run scored. However, even after the first couple of Test matches, there is often no guarantee of picking a winner of the series outright.

England have plenty of wicket-takers to hand this summer

One reason for England fans to be positive is the relative embarrassment of riches England’s selectors have in the frontline bowling department. With Jofra Archer fit again and Ollie Robinson showing great form of late, Stokes and McCullum may not need to lean so heavily on veterans James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Although McCullum said last year how keen he was for them to be part of this summer’s squad. There’s also fast bowler Mark Wood to add into the mix, who is hoping to be fit enough to play a part in some of the series.

From a batting perspective, England’s team is also taking shape. The likes of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett are relishing their new attacking approach as openers, while Joe Root, Harry Brook and even skipper Stokes are providing a glut of middle order runs.

Australia looking for Smith and Labuschagne to hit the ground running

Looking at the visiting side, Australian batter Steve Smith has secured a short-term agreement with County Championship side Sussex to play three games on English pitches and acclimatise to the Dukes cricket ball again ahead of the Ashes series. Smith is ranked number two in the world’s top batter rankings with his compatriot Marnus Labuschagne ahead of him at the summit. Smith is one of England’s biggest foes in recent Ashes series. In the 2019 series, he averaged a staggering 110.57 runs per innings, helping Australia to retain the Ashes.

New captain and frontline fast bowler Pat Cummins will be Australia’s biggest danger with the new ball, while seamer Josh Hazlewood is another underrated bowling prospect in English weather conditions. Experienced spinner, Nathan Lyon, will almost certainly travel.

Perhaps the biggest question mark hanging over this Australia squad is the make-up of its opening batters. David Warner is still a top talent, but has never hit the heights on English soil, averaging just 26 in Tests. Veteran opener Usman Khawaja is likely to be the best of the bunch. Former Australia skipper, Michael Clarke, believes Warner should be selected for the first Test on the proviso that if he underperforms again he’s replaced for the rest of the series.

At the time of writing, it feels like a coin flip as to which team wins the Ashes 2023 series. One thing is for certain, there will be plenty of fireworks if Stokes and McCullum have their way.

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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