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The Ashes 06:04 - Nov 18 with 617 viewsTLA

I can't wait for Thursday.

The first ball bowled in an Ashes series is one of my sporting highlights every couple of years.

This is an interesting series. Not the best two squads to go head to head, in all honesty. Here are my thoughts:

Australia don't look unbeatable. However, Warner will score a quick 80 - 110 in a few innings and Smith will probably make 150+ at least a couple of times. On the Australian pitches, they'll get close to 500 on two or three occasions.

England will do OK with the batting. Cook will score 40+ in several innings with a couple of 70s and Root will score between 50 - 80 in lots of innings. Moeen and Bairstow will score runs and the tail will wag.

The Aussie bowling unit is so much better though. I think they will often have a small first innings lead and their bowling attack will dominate in the latter part of matches.

I'm going for a 3-1 win to them. We'll obviously miss Stokes and I think Mark Wood could have given us an edge - those two could be the difference between 3-1 and 2-2, and Ashes retention.

I can't wait for that first ball...

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The Ashes on 06:24 - Nov 18 with 602 viewsbluewein

Can’t argue with any of that. Apart from the fact that we’ll smash them, obviously 👌🏻👍🏻

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The Ashes on 06:28 - Nov 18 with 602 viewsTLA

The Ashes on 06:24 - Nov 18 by bluewein

Can’t argue with any of that. Apart from the fact that we’ll smash them, obviously 👌🏻👍🏻


As a Town fan and an lover of English cricket, my honest assessment will always be tinged with pessimism, hiding my true optimism.

We'll lose 1-0 to Hull today but I'm putting a fiver on us to win 4-1.
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The Ashes on 07:04 - Nov 18 with 560 viewsWD19

The big difference for England is that I don’t think the tail will wag in Australia against their attack. The runs will need to come from the top order.

I think they can. I was optimistic about Stoneman in Australian conditions and he has started promisingly. I also think Bairstow will go very well (although may get caught on the hook a lot).

The problem is taking 20 wickets. Fortunately the Australian batting line up is weaker than ours so we have a bit of a chance, but lots of things need to fall our way. I was hopeful that Finn would click, but that hasn’t worked out. Woakes now needs to bowl at the top of off stump all day (a la Philander) and hope they get themselves out. They might just.

I am going to go with an irrationally optimistic 2-2 based on the Aussie squad named this week.
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The Ashes on 07:22 - Nov 18 with 538 viewsTLA

The Ashes on 07:04 - Nov 18 by WD19

The big difference for England is that I don’t think the tail will wag in Australia against their attack. The runs will need to come from the top order.

I think they can. I was optimistic about Stoneman in Australian conditions and he has started promisingly. I also think Bairstow will go very well (although may get caught on the hook a lot).

The problem is taking 20 wickets. Fortunately the Australian batting line up is weaker than ours so we have a bit of a chance, but lots of things need to fall our way. I was hopeful that Finn would click, but that hasn’t worked out. Woakes now needs to bowl at the top of off stump all day (a la Philander) and hope they get themselves out. They might just.

I am going to go with an irrationally optimistic 2-2 based on the Aussie squad named this week.


Their squad announcement did give me a bit of hope too.

Bairstow is brilliant. He looks so focussed on every ball and has improved so much as a 'keeper. If he gets in and starts scoring fluently, he'll definitely be targeted with short balls and long leg/deep square leg fielders.

I think our tail will wag a bit - it starts with Moeen, Woakes will score a few and I fancy Broady to get 15-20 with a bit of a bash on a few occasions. Broad and the Aussies love each other! I genuinely don't know much about Crane as a batsmen, but I doubt he'll start in Brisbane.

I think the 2-2 might come down to whether Broad has a couple of 'specials'.
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The Ashes on 08:48 - Nov 18 with 473 viewscatch74

Not sure last nights efforts will worry too many batsmen, admittedly slowish pitch..

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The Ashes on 10:22 - Nov 18 with 419 viewscaught-in-limbo

"The first ball bowled in an Ashes series is one of my sporting highlights every couple of years."

I love that moment too. It's a bit like the first moment of a bull fight* when the uninjured (although completely wound up) bull makes his first charge at the unarmed matador. As in the Ashes, it's often the only moment of true parity in a long drawn-out contest.

*FWIW, I find the rest of the contest very distasteful, unlike the Ashes.

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The Ashes on 10:25 - Nov 18 with 416 viewsBergholtBru

The Ashes on 07:22 - Nov 18 by TLA

Their squad announcement did give me a bit of hope too.

Bairstow is brilliant. He looks so focussed on every ball and has improved so much as a 'keeper. If he gets in and starts scoring fluently, he'll definitely be targeted with short balls and long leg/deep square leg fielders.

I think our tail will wag a bit - it starts with Moeen, Woakes will score a few and I fancy Broady to get 15-20 with a bit of a bash on a few occasions. Broad and the Aussies love each other! I genuinely don't know much about Crane as a batsmen, but I doubt he'll start in Brisbane.

I think the 2-2 might come down to whether Broad has a couple of 'specials'.


Moeen! Tail????

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The Ashes on 11:21 - Nov 18 with 384 viewsbournemouthblue

Toby Roland-Jones would again have been handy in Australia

I fear we'll be rendered pretty ineffective on Aussie wickets

Stokes is a big loss

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The Ashes on 11:39 - Nov 18 with 369 viewsLord_Lucan

God knows how many years ago it was now (10??) but I was in a sports bar in Birmingham waiting for The Ashes to start, it was about 3 in the morning and then Steve Harmison picked the ball up and you know what happened next.

I reckon the first Ashes test match in Oz must be up there with the best ever sporting experiences. I really must get my arse in gear and try and go. Can one just buy a ticket or are they like gold dust - I am assuming the latter.

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The Ashes on 11:50 - Nov 18 with 359 viewsWD19

The Ashes on 10:25 - Nov 18 by BergholtBru

Moeen! Tail????


Moeen is very capable, but he.....along with Broad and possibly even Bairstow will have issues with fast, short bowling on large grounds. We cannot rely on the lower middle order to score 500.

First ball of the series is a classic moment. First over of Moeens first spell may go a long way to deciding the series.
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The Ashes on 12:09 - Nov 18 with 339 viewsThe_Romford_Blue

I don't have BT which has totally ruined it for me


I love watching the ashes usually


I think 3-1 Aussies as well

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The Ashes on 12:11 - Nov 18 with 335 viewsfactual_blue

The Ashes on 12:09 - Nov 18 by The_Romford_Blue

I don't have BT which has totally ruined it for me


I love watching the ashes usually


I think 3-1 Aussies as well


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The Ashes on 12:24 - Nov 18 with 326 viewsTLA

The Ashes on 10:25 - Nov 18 by BergholtBru

Moeen! Tail????


I guess it depends where he bats - he's batted from 1-9 in the past. I'd say anyone batting after 7 is part of a tail - even if it's Root batting at 10!

Moeen might bat a place higher with Stokes out. However, batting at 7 or 8 makes him part of the tail, mainly because of the time he'll get and the partners he has to bat with.
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The Ashes on 12:34 - Nov 18 with 315 viewsThe_Romford_Blue

The Ashes on 12:11 - Nov 18 by factual_blue

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It's just not the same though

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The Ashes on 12:34 - Nov 18 with 315 viewsTLA

The Ashes on 12:09 - Nov 18 by The_Romford_Blue

I don't have BT which has totally ruined it for me


I love watching the ashes usually


I think 3-1 Aussies as well


I was looking forward to your reports Rommy! They were a highlight of the sub-continent tour last winter!

I have BT with our Virgin package. I used to love listening to TMS though
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The Ashes on 12:37 - Nov 18 with 311 viewsThe_Romford_Blue

The Ashes on 12:34 - Nov 18 by TLA

I was looking forward to your reports Rommy! They were a highlight of the sub-continent tour last winter!

I have BT with our Virgin package. I used to love listening to TMS though


If I choose to watch some of it through a stream, I'll keep the over by over reports going again.

If you're around, I'm sure I'll see you on an ashes thread as it's going on

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The Ashes on 12:42 - Nov 18 with 306 viewsTLA

The Ashes on 11:50 - Nov 18 by WD19

Moeen is very capable, but he.....along with Broad and possibly even Bairstow will have issues with fast, short bowling on large grounds. We cannot rely on the lower middle order to score 500.

First ball of the series is a classic moment. First over of Moeens first spell may go a long way to deciding the series.


Your first paragraph is the reason I think we'll often trail by 100 on first innings. We need Cook to nail it like he has before and at least one of the top 5 to contribute significantly too. If Root turns 2 or 3 50s into 150s, we'd be in most of the games.

I agree about Moeen. Like 'Gary' Lyon, he seems to regularly produce more than people expect. I'm interested in Crane - I've not seen him yet but a promising 20 year old leg spinner is good to have on board.
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The Ashes on 13:12 - Nov 18 with 275 viewsAce_High1

The Ashes on 12:37 - Nov 18 by The_Romford_Blue

If I choose to watch some of it through a stream, I'll keep the over by over reports going again.

If you're around, I'm sure I'll see you on an ashes thread as it's going on


Why not just get BT for the next few months? This is what I have done so I can watch the cricket.
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