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Ashes 2017/18: SWOT analysis of England ahead of the series

Do England have what it takes to come out on top Down Under?

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10 17 Nov 2017, 10:21 IST
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Can England retain the Ashes?
Can England retain the Ashes?

There's an emotional baggage attached to the Ashes with numerous nostalgic moments and countless career-defining junctures, therefore, it is hard to ignore the significance of the most iconic cricket series in the world.

It is not only a clash between two teams, in many ways the Ashes is a clash of two civilizations. Two proud countries stand to gape at each other with almost polar opposite traditions, with nothing in common.

The Ashes story dates back to August 1882 when England were defeated at home by Australia.

Due to the shock and humiliation of the defeat, the Sporting Times newspaper printed a satirical obituary of English cricket, that stated: "The body will be cremated and the ashes taken back to Australia."

When England next toured Australia for the return series, revenge was exacted.

The visiting captain Ivo Bligh was presented with a terracotta urn to symbolize his team's win.

This year, on 23rd November, England and Australia will resume the hostilities at the Gabba and carry on the 135-year-old tradition.

With England winning the last Ashes series at home, both sides are on an equal footing with 32 series wins each.

Now, let’s do a SWOT analysis of the touring party England and see how they fare against the hosts.


Strengths

Having won three of the five Tests in the 2015 series, England are the current holders of the Ashes.

Since 2005, seven Ashes series have been played of which five have been won by England and that is why they are the clear favourites as far as past track records are concerned.

Moreover, England are one country that take the longest format of cricket quite seriously and that is why they are one of the most competitive Test teams in the world.

So far, in 2017 England have maintained a 100 percent Test track record at home. Joe Root's men outplayed South Africa 3-1 in the Basil D'Oliveira Trophy before dominating West Indies 2-1 in the Wisden Trophy.

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