Ashes 2023: looking ahead to the greatest rivalry in cricket as England and Australia prepare for battle
On Ashes eve, here’s why the series means so much to cricket fans and why it will be a summer to remember
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June 16, otherwise known as tomorrow, will be a day on which English and Australian cricket fans have been counting down to for many months. The LV= Insurance Men’s Ashes Series gets underway at Edgbaston, Birmingham and with the weather looking very good, it is set to be a scorcher of an opening match.
In recent Ashes series, Australia have had the upper hand. In fact, England haven’t won a series home or away in eight years. In that time, they have been on the wrong end of two 4-0 defeats down under.
Australia have their hands firmly on the urn and have done so for many years. The last series in England, which took place in 2019, finished 2-2 meaning that the urn returned to Australia despite some spirited displays from England.
A lot of the talk surrounding the 2023 series has been how ‘Bazball’ will be utilised against a strong Australian side. ‘Bazball’ is of course the newly coined phrase referring to the attacking style of Test cricket adopted by England under new coach Brendan McCullum.
This style has seen England win 11 out of 13 matches, setting numerous records along the way. However, the approach has yet to be given a test against Australia, a side which on paper looks strong and in good form.
The pre-battle talk between the two camps has been going on for some time. ‘Bazball’ has been given a mention on several occasions, with England mid-order batter Harry Brook dealing the latest blow.
Nathan Lyon is Australia’s senior spin bowler, and someone who has taken many English wickets in the past. In an interview with Cricket Australia, Brook said that he respects Lyon, but that he won’t think twice about giving a bad ball the right treatment.
He said: "If he bowls a good ball then I'm going to respect it but other than that, I'm going to try to take him on. He could take a lot of wickets but hopefully we're going to hit him for a lot of runs.
"I like to think I'm a player who can find gaps and hit different gaps really, and play all around the wicket. I'll see what field he has. I'm sure they'll start with everybody up and we'll go from there."
The Ashes is one of the most anticipated series in sport. With good weather, great cricket and iconic grounds set to be on the agenda over the next six weeks, it’s going to be a great time for cricket fans everywhere.