Ashes 2017/18: SWOT analysis of Australia ahead of the series
The 2017-18 edition of the oldest rivalry in world cricket - 'The Ashes' is nearly upon us.
England and Australia will grapple for the 70th time in the last 135 years to claim the iconic Ashes urn.
Hosted in turn by England and Australia at least once every four years, the upcoming Ashes series will be played Down Under, starting 23rd November at the Gabba.
This time, under the leadership of Joe Root and Steven Smith, both teams will lock horns at five separate venues with the Test series concluding on 8th January at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground.
With England winning the last Ashes series at home, the head-to-head record stands even at the moment. Overall, both sides are on an equal footing with 32 series wins each.
However, a lot has changed since Alastair Cook and Michael Clarke’s troops battled it out in 2015 to win a contest that is considered the pinnacle of Test cricket.
Now, let’s do a SWOT Analysis for hosts Australia and see how they fare against the touring party.
Home advantage - There is no denying the fact that Australia are a tough cookie at home. Australian tracks are fast and bouncy, whereas, in England, the ball tends to swing in the air and seam off the pitch. Moreover, familiarity with local conditions and crowd support can be a huge factor for the hosts.
Past Ashes experience - Australia have won 140 while England have secured 108 of the 341 Ashes matches played so far. The visitors are the current holders of the urn but they were whitewashed 5-0 the last time they played Down Under.
Recent performance - Australia have won six of their past seven Test series at home. Other than South Africa, no other team has been able to get past the Kangaroos since 2012.