Highly anticipated Test battle between the rivals of ages, The Ashes is set to commence from December 8 at The Gabba. The first match of the season is ready to roll in less than 12 hours and the battle between the ball and bat is going to produce yet another exciting chapter in the history of the tournament. Australia are current holders of Ashes and they will be hoping to retain it yet again at home this time.
The Ashes is highly regarded as a players’ tournament as the last edition was marked by Steve Smith’s phenomenal performance. The experts are looking forward to witness cricket of similar fashion in the current edition.
Ahead of the first Test, here are the 5 players to watch out at the Gabba:
The last edition of Ashes is acknowledged as, “Steve Smith Series,” for his phenomenal performance throughout the tournament. He prized his name with 774 runs at an average of 110.57, including three centuries and the highest score of 211 to help his team draw the series 2-2 and retain the urn, entering in the list of elites which blessed the game with their classics.
Smith ranks at number three best batsman in Test cricket and carries a huge legacy on his shoulder.
Yet another master of game tops the chart the list of best batsmen in Test Cricket will have the responsibility to lead his squad towards victory.
His form can be guessed with the fact that Root has amassed 1,455 runs in just 23 innings in the current year, 333 runs short of Mohammad Yousuf’s calendar year record. Root knows England must be heavily counting on him with the kind of track record he possesses behind his name and he will have to stand up to his character.
The kind of form Warner displayed in T20 World Cup, the Australian team will heavily bank on him to bring on his A-game. Although the opener struggled in the last Ashes, this year, he will be aiming to shut his critics with some big scores. If Warner brings his best game to the picture, he is surely going to wreck the start-studded England’s bowling lineup.
World’s number 1 ranked Test bowler, and a new trusted leader of the team, Cummins will be leading the legacy on his shoulder while proving his own worth alongside Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
Cummins was vital in the last edition of Ashes and played an important part by clinching 29 wickets. The skipper has the best career average amongst any Test bowler, but the additional responsibility of leading the team will be an interesting aspect to watch.
Despite being on break since June, Stokes made a lot of headlines this year. He did an unprecedented act by openly admitting the fact that he needed a break to focus on his mental health alongside his injured finger. He is a star all-rounder for his team and his experience will be crucial for the Three Lions in the 5-match series.