The Australian captain Ricky Pointing faces a tough proposition this time round, as he will lead the Australian team perhaps for one last time to face the English men in their own soil. This is going to be one grueling encounter that will make test cricket come alive, as both the teams will fight for the crown of the Ashes. Things will not be that easy for the Australian team and hoping for a clean sweep of the series this time round may not be an easy task for them. The Australians will miss their premier fast bowler Bret Lee, who is out of this match due to an injury. However, there are many players in the both the teams who can make a difference to this match with some brilliant performances on their parts. The favorite as usual is the Australian team but do not leave out a rejuvenated England team who are looking at this opportunity to settle scores with the Aussies.
It is important to watch out for Kevin Pietersen, one player that the Aussies fear the most. Flintoff has recovered from his injury and is looking forward to a piece of the Aussie pie. Monty Panesar along with Graeme Swann adds that spinning edge to the English line up with a solid pace attack comprising of Anderson and Broad. Kevin Pietersen scored an impressive 963 runs at an average of 53.50 in the last Ashes series and will definitely be on the hit list of the Australian bowlers. However, his Achilles injury is threatening to derail the plans of England winning the Ashes this time round.
If there is one Australian bowler that the English batsman would want to avoid is the dangerous Mitchell Johnson. Perhaps, the most frightening bowler playing the game right now he has both pace and swing in his armor. His performance might be the Australia’s success in this Ashes series. The Australian batting line up is looking very strong with the likes of Pointing, Hughes, North, Hussey, and Clarke. Getting them out twice in a test match might be a tough proposition for the English bowlers. In addition, do not rule out the contributions of Hauritz and Hilfenhaus. They are extremely competent bowlers with the skills to derail the English batting lineup. Without Bret lee the Australian pace attack might look weak but never count them out.
The Cardiff wicket has been newly laid and that makes the venue unknown to both the teams. This is the first time that an International match will be played on this strip. Therefore, England might not get the advantage of the home conditions in the first test match. However, with the crowds out there to back the English men, there is definite advantage for them in their home soil. It is going to be an exciting match in front of a sell out crowd that is sure to enjoy every bit of action that will be dished out to them.
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