Looking into the Ashes: Australia’s key players

July 4, 2015 by Posted in Articles

Steve SmithThe 2015 Ashes is just around the corner with the first Test match to be held at Cardiff on Wednesday 8th July. Australia looks strong to retain the Ashes they emphatically won down under. England, on the other hand, would dearly love to avenge their poor performance and win the urn back.

The Australian squad is being taunted for being an ageing squad but no one will disagree with the fact that most of their players are experienced which should prove to be invaluable in the Ashes pressure cooker. This will be the last Ashes chance for many of the players and they will be eager to prove a point.

Steve Smith (pictured) is definitely not old but has matured into one of the most reliable batsmen in world cricket. The current world number one ranked batsman is not always pretty to watch at the crease but he’s showing that can pile up runs in a heap. Over the past year or so, Smith has shown his penchant for big runs. If he gets into rhythm, it will be very difficult for England to get past him into the middle and lower order. William Hill offer odds of $3.25 for Smith to be the leading Aussie batsman which seems a nice play.

Mitchell Starc had a wonderful World Cup with the white ball. His Test form hasn’t been anything great but this is the best time for him to set the record straight. He can swing the ball, bowl at very good pace and can conjure up bouncers at will. All the qualities that you need to trouble the home team. His six wickets in his only warm-up match this series shows that he’s ready to steal the limelight from Mitchell Johnson as Australia’s strike weapon. Starc’s reliability will become even more crucial with the shock announcement of the immediate retirement of Ryan Harris who couldn’t overcome a dodgy knee. William Hill offer odds of $4.00 for Starc to be the leading wicket taker for the Aussies which looks to be a nice bet.

David Warner had a mixed series when he was in England last time. A pub fight with Joe Root cost him a couple of Test matches, but the Warner of today is different from the Warner 2013. He has matured a lot and has shown a glimpse of his improved temperament. The booing boys will be in full capacity but that will only steel Warner’s resolve, as we have seen many times.

The wildcards for the Australians are young fast bowler Josh Hazlewood and the seasoned Adam Voges. Hazlewood is in the mold of Glenn McGrath and could be the one for the future. His ability to consistently hit line and length, combined with steep bounce will make him a handful on English pitches. Voges definitely isn’t one for the future but has loads of experience in English county conditions. Voges had a great initiation to Test cricket in the Caribbean and will definitely not look out of place.

All in all, it looks an interesting summer of cricket with the Ashes urn up for grabs!

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