Former Australian captain and the current mentor of the team Steve Waugh believes it is difficult to pick a favourite for the upcoming Ashes series. Waugh stated that it is going to be an even contest between the two sides and neither team will have an advantage over the other. Meanwhile, England would be playing in their home conditions and they might start a bit ahead of Australia.
Waugh stated there is hardly anything to choose between the two sides as they are well balanced. On the other hand, the former Australian captain believes it is going to be a big ask from the fast bowlers from both sides to play five Test matches in a span of six weeks. Thus, if there would be injury concerns, the teams can suddenly be on the backfoot.
Hard to choose a favourite.
“I really believe it’s a big ask for the fast bowlers on both sides to play five Tests in six weeks and that could have a big impact on the whole series, so, for instance, Jimmy Anderson gets injured, or Mitchell Starc gets injured for us, it could really affect the line-up.
“Depth in the squad will be important but I honestly think if I was a betting man I wouldn’t back either side because I don’t know who’s going to win. It’s going to be that even. I think it’s going to be a fantastic series.”
Waugh said that the English team has given them a stern competition in the recent past. England has taken giant strides in the last decade and they are a force to reckon with especially in their home conditions.
England has come up with good performances.
“We’ve come up against some really good England sides in those last 18 years. We’ve had some tight series and moments when we could have won the series, probably a bit like the other way round for England in that period where they lost a lot.”
“One-day cricket is irrelevant to Test cricket,” he said. “They’re different teams, different captains. It’s a different sport really. If you compare Test cricket and one-day cricket you’re almost not playing the same sport. It’s played in a totally different way.
“England will say it’s important for everyone and sure if you win that’s great but when it comes to the first Test at Edgbaston it’s not going to matter what happened in the one-day World Cup.”
The first Ashes Test match will take place at Edgbaston, Birmingham on 1st August.