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The Ashes 2013: Young Australia look for a fresh start in first Test

Akshay SK
ANALYST
Preview
1.11K   //    08 Jul 2013, 01:08 IST
Worcestershire v Australia - Tour Match: Day Two

Michael Clarke would be hoping for his fast bowlers to be on the money from word ‘go’ in the first Test

July 10 2013, Wednesday

11.00 a.m (15.30 IST)

Big Picture

England have always been trampled by Australia during their years of dominance. However, after the retirement of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Jason Gillespie, England found it somewhat easier to play against Australia as they trounced them in 2010 and 2011.

Alastair Cook would be hoping that England can replicate the same performance against Australia in the first Test at Trent Bridge.

England recently routed New Zealand in the recent Test series. It was a dominant display from England as they outclassed New Zealand in all the departments of the game. James Anderson and Stuart Broad were instrumental in England clinching the Test series.

However, they had problems in the batting department as their top-order failed to make substantial contribution in both the Tests. Joe Root and Ian Bell took the responsibility on their shoulders and batted brilliantly in both the matches to ease the burden on the middle-order batsmen. The return of Kevin Pietersen strengthens the middle order as he has the ability of playing a big innings. Nevertheless, the top order needs to get into the groove to shield the middle order.

But, it won’t be easy for England’s top-order batsmen to score freely as Australia have a dominant pace attack. James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle would relish bowling in England as they have the ability to swing the ball both ways. Therefore, Cook and Joe Root will have to be watchful against Australia new-ball bowlers. If they can see-off the new-ball, then England would certainly have their noses ahead.

Also, England have high-quality fast bowlers in the form of James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Australia have an inexperienced batting line-up and therefore Anderson and Broad could be a threat to Australia. So, if England can pile up a good score, then they could fancy their chances.

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Australia, on the other hand, are still in a transition period. John Inverarity also revealed that his panel has struggled to find appropriate replacements for Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey and Mathew Hayden. Chris Rogers has played a lot of county cricket for Middlesex. He will be opening the batting for Australia in the Ashes alongside Shane Watson. If they can provide a solid start, then Australia middle-order batsmen will have a an easier time dealing with swinging conditions prevalent at Nottingham..

Pitch and Conditions

The wicket is expected to aid fast bowlers and therefore we can expect a lot of swing in the first couple of days. There will be seam movement off the surface as well. Also, the weather is expected to be overcast in the first couple of days. So, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bowl first.

Team news

Tim Bresnan did not play a single Test match after recovering from an injury. Steve Finn, on the other hand, did a tremendous job for England. Also, Graham Onions is likely to miss the first Test.

England (Probable): Alastair Cook (capt), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott.

Australia are likely to leave out some of the players who did not achieve success in India. Philip Hughes, Usman Khawaja and Jackson Bird are likely to miss the first Test.

Australia (Probable): Michael Clarke (capt), Brad Haddin (vice-capt), David Warner, Ed Cowan, Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, James Faulkner, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon

Watch out for:

James Anderson – He has been a good exponent of the new-ball. The conditions are expected to aid swing bowlers and therefore Australia’s opening batsmen will have to be watchful against Anderson.

Chris Rogers – He has played 233 first class matches and scored 19,000 runs. He has a significant task on hand as he will be opening the batting for Australia. If he can provide a good start, then Australia would certainly have their noses ahead.

Quotes

We’re definitely a better team for Kevin’s inclusion and he’s just an extraordinary player. There’s not really any down side at the minute. We saw it this week in the match at Chelmsford. I know he only got 49, but it just seemed far too easy for him. He seemed in great form. An in-form Kevin Pietersen is vital to our team going forward”- Anderson talked about Kevin Pietersen.

“Naturally some of the guys over here understand it very well and I have learnt a bit off them. If you can keep that ball moving in the air, it’s going to be a lot easier for the bowlers. It’s a big job.”- Chris Rogers said that it will be difficult for batsmen if the ball keeps moving in the air.

 

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Akshay SK
ANALYST
Akshay SK is a teenage sensation from the cricket-mad madras. A student of commerce, Akshay avidly follows the game providing his insights and analysis in a plethora of online and offline forums. A regular in the National cricket chat-shows, Akshay, dreams of becoming a roving cricket journo, travelling the globe to cover and report the sport he so much loves.
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