With the much-awaited first Test of Ashes 2015 set to start on 8 July at Cardiff between Australia and England, it is the Aussies, who will start as favourites as they demolished West Indies recently to clinch the Frank Worrell Trophy.
Australia, without a shadow of doubt are one of the best teams in all formats. They possess some of the best players in modern day cricket. With bowlers such as Mitchell Starc and batsmen such as Steve Smith, England have their task cut out.
Former England cricketer Graeme Swann feels that Mitchell Starc is going to be the deciding factor in the series. With bowlers such as Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Johnson, they can knock down the English batting line-up.
But Swann also believes that Johnson will not play. "I don't think Mitchell Johnson will play in the team," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Swann as saying. "He's not the Mitchell to worry about. Mitchell Starc is above and beyond the best match-winning player they've got at the minute.
"Forget about the batsmen. If Mitchell Starc bowls well, I don't think England have got any hope of winning the Ashes. If they nullify him in some way, then they've got a chance."
Mitchell Starc has been bowling superbly of late and has continued his World Cup bowling form for Australia. Not only does he possess good pace, but the bowler has the ability to swing the ball, which makes him a difficult bowler to face at the crease.
Add to it, the English conditions, which are going to assist him more, there are plenty of reasons for England to worry about this lanky bowler. Though Johnson, who Swann feels might not play, is still one of their best bowlers and can make life difficult for the English batsmen.
Add Hazlewood to their bowling ranks, these bowlers have it in them to topple over any batting line-up in the world.
Hence, England's batsmen need to rise to the occasion and showcase their skills in one of the most important Test series of the year for England.