England team is waiting to take on the recently crowned World Test Champions and were waiting to take revenge for the defeat they suffered in Australia in 2021/2022 by 4-0. It was an awful performance by them in the last Ashes series because they were not even near to dominating any matches in the whole series and lost 4 matches by a huge margin.
England appointed the New Zealand star Brendon McCullum as a head coach, and since then, England changed their whole style of playing cricket as now they go out with a fully attacking intent from the first ball of the match, which is now called “Bazball.”
England played 11 Test Matches under McCullum, won 10 of them, and lost just one against South Africa. Their ultimate test is still due as they have not visited India since they adopted this type of cricket in a test match, and for any overseas team winning in India is not their ultimate test. It will also be a test for England to win a series against Australia in England after being thrashed by them last time in Australia.
Australia will be in high confidence after winning the ultimate test match title after defeating India in a one-sided dominated match in which they were on top of the Indian team in most of all sessions, which clearly shows how good they are playing and can keep their winning form of Ashes from the last year.
The Australian team dominated the last Ashes series in Australia, winning the series by 4-0 and giving out nothing to their rivals. They have the perfect team who can win the Ashes series against England in England again, but for that, they need to play as one unit as they did against India in the WTC finals.
Pat Cummins will be eager to take on England and dominate the series from the start, but there are a few issues with the Australian lineup as England bowlers have better ability than Indian bowlers to assist the condition, and the pitch will be made to favor England team bowlers who rely on swing more than bounce.
England vs Australia: Head-to-Head Test Match Record
England and Australia played 356 matches against each other. Australia won 150 matches, and England won 110 matches. The Australian team dominated England for the last 3 series as they won 2 series against England and had one draw series by 2-2 in the 2019 season, which happened in England.
The last time England won against Australia was in 2019, in which Jofra Archer became the player of the match by taking 6 wickets in 1st innings. The last match between these two rivals happened in January 2022, in which Australia dominated the match and won it by 146 runs to seal the Ashes by 4-0. Travis Head became the player of the match after scoring a century in just 112 balls and was also the player of the series.
Pitch Report and Stats of Edgbaston, Birmingham, London for the First Ashes Test Match Between England vs Australia
|Match Played||56 matches|
|Batting first won||19 matches won|
|Batting second won||21 matches won|
|Matches Drawn||15 Matches drawn|
|Average 1st innings scores||306 runs|
|Average 2nd innings scores||316 runs|
|Average 3rd innings scores||243 runs|
|Average 4th innings scores||160 runs|
|Highest Team innings total||710/7 Declare by England vs India|
|Lowest Team innings total||30/10 by South Africa vs England|
Edgbaston, Birmingham, has been a neutral wicket for the last 6-7 years, but Ben Stokes demands a flat and fast track for the 1st test match because they want to play the Bazball style. The average first innings score is 306, which is a decent score in the England conditions as it mostly stays overcast.
The ball will swing in the first 10-20 overs even if the pitch is flat, but if there is some lateral movement, then it can hurt some top-order batters. Michael Vaughan said that he wishes to see a swinging pitch that has some late swing else Australia will be on top of England with their skillful bowling.
The average opening stand is around 37.03 runs, and the average runs per wicket are 31.50, which kind of shows that the pitch is neutral and players need to use their skills more than getting assistance from the pitch.
Team Preview of England Test Team
England team will not be going to be the favorite to win the match as their bowling unit is not as good as it used to be back 4-5 years ago as all their bowlers are not fully fit and do not have legs to bowl and longer spell which is why they lost two out of 3 series in last 4 years.
The real test of the Bazball strategy will come against Australia because, in the past, they played with teams who did not have a good bowling attack, and in Pakistan, they got road-like flat wickets that gave them the advantage to score runs at the run rate of 7 runs per over.
England needs to recruit some new pace bowlers into their side because Stuart Broad and James Anderson are old enough who can not to play every match, especially Anderson because he is now 40 years old, and since 2007, he has been in the test team for England.
England’s team is not in good shape, which is why they had to call Moeen Ali from his retirement to play the test match after a year, which will be tough for his body, but he has been one of the best performers for England.
Important players who can perform well in the 1st test
1- Ben Stokes is one of the key players for the England team, but the more important thing is his bowling availability because he did not bowl in the IPL, and it has been many months since he last bowled. He has a great record against Australia in the Ashes, as he has three centuries and six fifties in 19 matches. He also took 38 wickets.
2- Joe Root played 29 matches against the Aussies, scoring 2016 runs with an average of 38.77. He is one of the top batters in test cricket, alongside Steve Smith and Virat Kohli, but his performance has dropped recently. His ability to calm things down in a team like England, which is more into playing aggressive cricket, is very important. He scored 3 centuries and 16 half-centuries, which clearly shows that he has been one of the best, but one more good part of him is that he took 17 wickets also, which is a surprising number. He also scored the highest run in the last series against Australia.
3- James Anderson can be the star of the match as the 40-year-old pace bowler will play his 36th match against the Australian team who will try to smash him, but in the last 35 test matches against the Aussies, Anderson took 112 wickets. He took fivers five times, and one time, he took 10 wickets in a match. He played 179 matches till now and took 685 wickets.
Team Preview of the Australian Test Team
The Australian team is right now at the top of their game as they won the World Test Championship final against India by dominating them, and it was a total contribution by the players in every situation. Travis Head and Scott Boland were quite well against India. They are going to be key players in the Ashes, but there is one doubt will Boland get the chance to play, or will Josh Hazelwood replace him for the Ashes?
Aussies are doing everything right in the test format except their Indian series, in which they did fought well but lost in the end. However, they took revenge and won the most important test match, which was the WTC final.
Important players who can perform well in the 1st test
1- Pat Cummins will be the most important player from the Australian side, as, in the last series against England, he took 21 wickets in 8 innings with an average of 18.04 which is an amazing feat by any bowler. The good thing about Cummins’s bowling is that he can deliver well even if the pitch is flat because the skill he has to keep the length on the same area again n again is impressive.
2- Travis Head was the player of the series in his last series against the England team, in which he scored 357 runs with an average of 59.50 and a strike rate of more than 90, which is an amazing performance by any batter. He was given man of the match in the final of WTC against India, in which he scored 163 runs in 1st innings to give a huge advantage to England to win the title.
3- Steve Smith will be a crucial player for the Aussie in England Conditions because he has one of the best records in England. He played 32 matches against England and scored 3044 runs with an average of 59.59 which is one of the best by any batter. His innings against India were one of the most crucial for the Australian side as he played an anchor role in partnership with Travis Head.
England vs Australia: Probable Playing 11 of England
Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Ben Stokes(C), Harry Brook, Ollie Pope, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Matthew Potts, James Anderson, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad
England vs Australia: Probable Playing 11 of Australia
David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith (VC), Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (C), Scott Boland, Nathan Lyon