Weakness: Unsettled batting unit
The batting unit of Australia in Test cricket is quite unsettled. The trio of David Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft have been named for the Ashes after serving their respective bans.
In all likelihood, Marcus Harris will open with David Warner in the first Test. Harris, in 11 Test innings till date, has scored 327 runs at an average of only 32.70 with two half-centuries. He is yet to prove his authority as an opener.
Bancroft too has not tasted much success at the Test level. In 14 innings, the opener has scored 402 runs at an average of 30.92 with a highest score of 82.
Harris and Bancroft will likely find it difficult to negotiate the initial bowling spells of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes.
Warner and Smith will be returning after serving their bans, but they have been away from Test cricket for more than 15 months now. Though Warner finished as the second highest scorer in the World Cup, Smith averaged 37.90 in the tournament.
The middle order comprising of Usman Khawaja, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne and Tim Paine has not tasted much success at the Test level either. In 6 Test innings in England, Khawaja has scored 114 runs at an average of 19. Head is relatively new to Test cricket and out of 8 matches in his career, has played six in Australia and two in UAE.
Labuschange has played only five Test matches and averages 26.25; he too is yet to play a Test against England. Wade has been named in the Australian team on the basis of strong batting performances in domestic cricket, but he has not been able to replicate his domestic performances at the international level and averages just 28.58 with the bat.
Thus apart from Warner, Smith and Khawaja, the rest of the middle order is yet to play Test cricket in England and will find it difficult to face the skilled English bowlers.
Also read – Ashes Best bowling figures