While England hold the Ashes urn, Australia, especially Mitchell Johnson, proved to be nightmare for the visitors in 2013-14. It's all nicely set up as the two sides are gearing up to resume the famous rivalry in the upcoming five-match series, starting Thursday, November 23 at the Gabba, Brisbane.
A lot has been said and the game has already started off the field with former and current Australian players playing the mind games they are know for. Star England all-rounder Ben Stokes' suspension after he was involved in a street brawl in Bristol in September has given enough fodder for the hosts, who will start the tournament as underdogs for the first time in quite a while.
Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who is expected to play a key role for the hosts, is leading the trash talking. The 30-year-old urged his team to "finish careers" of English players on tour.
I sincerely hope you’re not part of a losing @CricketAus team on home soil @NathLyon421. I still remember being sat on the outfield at the SCG after winning 3-1 while your press&fans were tearing into the Oz players. You want to end careers? Just make sure its not yours that ends— Matt Prior (@MattPrior13) November 21, 2017
The bowler's comments come after Graeme Swann retired midway during the tumultuous tour in 2013-14 while Jonathan Trott and Matt Prior's careers were never the same after the trip, in which Johnson had taken 37 wickets.
|1st Test||November 23-27||9:59am local/5:29am IST/11:59pm GMT (previous day)||The Gabba, Brisbane|
|2nd Test||December 2-6||2pm local/9am IST/3:30am GMT||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide|
|3rd Test||December 14-18||10:30am local/8am IST/2:30am GMT||WACA, Perth|
|4th Test||December 26-30||10:30am local/5am IST/11:30pm GMT (Previous day)||MCG, Melbourne|
|5th Test||January 4-8||10:30am local/5am IST/11:30pm GMT (Previous day)||SCG, Sydney|
However, Joe Root's England are unlikely to suffer a similar fate this time. In fact quite a few cricket experts, including legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne, have labelled the visitors as favourites after the hosts surprised many with their team selection.
Australia team selection criticised
The likes of Matt Renshaw and Matthew Wade were dropped while Cameron Bancroft and Tim Paine. While the former is eyeing a Test debut after a glorious run in the Sheffield Shield recently, the latter's selection has raised quite a few eyebrows as his recent performances did not deserve a call-up.
Despite all the buzz, the focus will be on the old guards of the likes of David Warner, Alastair Cook, Root as they will hold the key when it comes to scoring runs in difficult conditions.
A lot is also expected from Mitchell Starc as he will be looking to emulate Johnson's efforts when it comes to leading the attack. The New South Wales bowler's double hat-trick in the shield game against Western Australia earlier this month is a definite warning bell for the visitors.
On the other hand, it will be interesting to see how the likes of Stuart Broad and James Anderson perform, especially in conditions that are not suitable for swing bowling. A lot will depend on off-spinning all-rounder Moeen Ali as he will be required to both restrict the runs and get the breakthroughs for his captain.
TV Schedule and Live streaming
India: TV: Sony Six; Live streaming: Sony Liv
UK: TV: BT Sport; Live streaming: BT Sport Live
Australia: TV: Channel 9; Live streaming: 9Now
US: Willow TV
Malaysia: TV: Astro Cricket; Live streaming: Astro Go
African subcontinent: TV: Supersport 2
Middle East: TV: BeIN Sports HD
Australia (1st and 2nd Test): Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
England: Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton, Tom Curran.