Can The England Cricket Team End 23 Year Wait to Win an Ashes Series in Australia?
The Ashes test series between England and Australia dates back to 1882 and the 2010/2011 series will be the 66th time the famous “urn” has been contested between these two great cricketing nations. Australia has dominated the Ashes in the past two decades but England has won two of the last three, providing hope that for the first time since 1987 they stand a chance of both winning a series and retaining the Ashes on Aussie soil.
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The England Cricket team head to Australia in November this year in search of recording their first Ashes win Down Under in 23 years; the last victory of the famous urn outside of Britain was the 1987 series!
The first test of the 2010/2011 Ashes series begins on 25th November in Brisbane and for the first time in 23 years, England head to Australia seemingly in with a chance of retaining the Ashes, also for the first time since that 1987 series win.
England has won the last two Ashes Series played on home soil most recently in 2009, however, prior to their 2005 victory, Australia had won the previous eight series, maintaining an 18 year grip on urn, the longest period in which of the two sides has retained the title as ‘ashes holders’ since the series was first contested since 1882.
England will look to the five test 2010/2011 tour Down Under as the perfect opportunity to put to bed the long standing poor run of form in the Southern Hemisphere that those before them had been unable to overcome. The Ashes victories in 2005 and 2009, albeit in front of their own support, does suggest that the England team has made up some ground on Australia, who for the best part of the last two decades has been ranked number one test team in the world. Something England discovered when going down 5-0 the last time they travelled to Australia in 2007.
However, since that demolition in 2007 Australia has slipped in the ICC’s test rankings and are currently ranked fourth best in the world with England just behind in fifth, another reason to provide hope for the England Ashes squad and its travelling ‘Barmy Army’ of fans.
The main reason for hope though for England comes in the form of several young players for whom the 2010 Ashes will be their first taste of the longstanding bitter rivalry between these two great cricketing nations. Bowlers Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn have just ten test appearances between them but in the last twelve months they have shown just what they can do with the bowl at the highest level of international cricket and will form a vital part of England’s attack this winter.
Like Bresnan and Finn, Batsman Eoin Morgan is another rookie who will be looking to make his mark during the forthcoming Ashes series. The Irishman has looked impressive since making his England test debut in May this year against Bangladesh and scored his first test century just three tests later when achieving 130 in the same series against Bangladesh.
Together with the more experienced and proven players in the team such as captain Andrew Strauss, Paul Collingwood, Kevin Pietersen, Alastair Cook, Ian Bell and Jimmy Anderson; the youngsters that have been named in Andrew Strauss’ squad provide plenty of reason for optimism that England can at least give the Aussies a run for their money.
The Ashes betting currently makes Australia the favourites at odds of 10/11 with England around a 9/4 chance which has been the closest bookmakers have ever made the two sides for a series Down Under for many years and whilst England has its work cut out to cause what would be considered an upset, this would appear to be their best chance of both winning a series in Australia and retaining the Ashes for the first time in 23 years.
2010/2011 Ashes Schedule
25 – 29 November 2010: 1st Test, Brisbane
3 – 7 December 2010: 2nd Test, Adelaide
16 – 20 December 2010: 3rd Test, Perth
26 – 30 December 2010: 4th Test, Melbourne
3 – 7 January 2011: 5th Test, Sydney
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