England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have named a full strength 17 man squad for the upcoming Ashes tour. Cricket’s oldest rivalry, The Ashes will commence on the 8th of December and will be a five match test series.
There were doubts over availability of few players who’d expressed their views on not touring Australia and the Ashes tour was likely to be cancelled, but discussions over the previous few weeks had seen some positive talks between the English players and Cricket Australia. ECB then put out an official statement that read “The ECB Board has met today and given its approval for the tour to go ahead. This decision is subject to several critical conditions being met before we travel.”
England Men’s head coach Chris Silverwood named the 17 man squad; Joe Root, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood.
Stuart Broad had missed the England home summer series against India due to calf injury and is now declared fit, Jos Buttler’s unavailability was very likely but he’s featured in the side and that’s a huge plus as England will miss Moeen Ali in whites. No surprises in Dawid Malan and Ollie Pope who’ve retained their spots; both didn’t have the best of series against India but did have decent outings. Jofra Archer with elbow injury and Ben Stokes with finger injury and indefinite break away from the game remain unavailable.
SCHEDULE OF THE ASHES 2021-22 : The opening test match of the Ashes series will be played at the Gabba from 8th – 12th of December. The 2nd test will be a day-night test that’ll be played at the Adelaide Oval from 16th – 20th of December. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) will host the 3rd, Boxing day test from 26th – 30th of December. The 4th test of the series will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) from 5th – 9th of January. Final test of the Ashes 2021-22 will be played at the Optus Stadium, Perth from 14th – 18th January.
There is no hiding the fact that both England and Australia have underperformed in test matches lately but will look to re-group and start well to have a good momentum for the remainder of the series. England have played test matches against India and New Zealand in their summer home series that concluded a month ago and on the other hand, Australia haven’t played any sort of long format games since their last summer India series where they failed to win the Border-Gavaskar trophy as inexperienced Indian XI were all over the experienced and full strength Australian XI. Australian domestic, Sheffield Shield games have begun and that’ll see a few players get practise coming into the series with many still being underprepared.
Both sides, Australia and England have been heavily dependent on their bowling, the bowling unit have delivered something special for a win as batting performances have been average. Australia on sheet have an edge over England with home conditions and big names in their squad where England miss a couple but form will remain a guess.
Australia are scheduled to play a test match against Afghanistan in their lead up to the Ashes, but Afghanistan’s political reasons could see the one-off test match being cancelled for this summer and then Australia will straightaway have to play England in the opening game of the Ashes 2021-22 series.