With the 2023 Ashes edging closer this summer in the UK, the anticipation is growing around the fireworks the series could provide as England and Australia do battle once again in this historic competition.
An aggressive approach under skipper Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum has brought new life to Test cricket in England and the excitement is growing as their old rivals prepare to head to the northern hemisphere this summer.
England Building Momentum Ahead of Ashes
England find themselves in a good place in the build-up to the Ashes this summer. After a 267-run victory in their first Test against New Zealand in February, England had won 10 of their last 11 matches. The popularity of and interest in the Test side appears to be on the up, due to the success of the national side and the way they go about the longest form of the game. When it comes to searches for cricket online, the sport finds itself competing with F1 and tennis for clicks. The success and exciting approach of England’s Test side can only build interest, especially in a year when the Ashes will be grabbing plenty of the headlines in the UK press.
It was 2015 the last time England had their hands on the famous urn but much has changed since that side won the series 3-2 on home soil. Alastair Cook led England to the series win, while Australia skipper Michael Clarke and his side left the UK empty-handed after defeats in Cardiff, Birmingham and Nottingham. While England did have some attacking batters at the time, much rested on the measured approaches of Cook and Joe Root to build an innings for England.
The current crop of players, with the likes of Stokes and Harry Brook, can take games away from the opposition in the space of a single session. Expect England to be sticking to their attacking style this summer against an Australia side that will be looking to spoil the party in the UK.
War of Words Has Already Begun
There has never been much love lost between England and Australia when it comes to the Ashes and the war or words has already started. Former Australia skipper Steve Smith already has already had a slight dig at England by suggesting their away series in India this year was “bigger than an Ashes”. While showing respect to India, those comments certainly won’t have gone unnoticed in the England camp, who might well feel like they have a point to prove after waiting so long for a series win against the Baggy Greens.
As for the England squad, the Surrey batter Ollie Pope has claimed there has been no talk of the Ashes series as the focus has been on securing a series win in New Zealand. After the England squad return to the UK, the focus will soon turn to the Ashes and another intriguing contest between two of the powerhouses of Test cricket.