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Re: The Ashes 2017/18
Posted by: Supporting Middlesex since 1999
Date: 26/09/2017 22:01
I think both teams have areas of concern, so I wouldn’t have thought the standard of the series will match 2005, when a settled England side beat an Australia side who were arguably at the peck of their powers.

A characteristic of Ashes series is that the losing team ends up getting through about 18 players throughout the series. Admittedly, there are more examples of this happening to England than Australia! If the first couple of matches don’t go well for England, there will probably be mass changes, as a few of their players start this series with question marks over their heads.

I don’t think Steven Finn is seen as likely to be named in tomorrow's initial squad, although if anything happens to the fast bowlers named before or during the series, then he could get in. It would be nice if he could finally have some good memories of an Ashes tour, as no-one took more than his 14 wickets in the first three Tests of 2010/11, yet he then got dropped due to his economy of 4.30, while he was deemed “not selectable” three years later.

If England’s 3-1 win in 2010/11 is stripped out, then Australia’s record in home series since 1990/91 will have been 3-0, 3-1, 3-1, 4-1, 5-0 and 5-0, so that doesn’t bode well for England.

This series will not be on Sky, but will instead be on BT Sport, for whom this will be their second winter of holding the rights to all cricket from Australia. Like Sky always did for matches from Australia not involving England, BT’s in-game coverage last winter mainly consisted of presenting the match exactly how Channel 9 viewers saw it, although BT used their own staff to fill the intervals. When it came to the Ashes, Sky used to send their own commentators and use their own graphics, so it will be interesting to see what BT do. Although I think the likes of Michael Vaughan and Graeme Swann are now BT pundits, I don’t see how BT have enough commentators or co-commentators to present their own in-game coverage, so unless anything changes in the coming weeks, I imagine that viewers will get the Channel 9 feed boosted by one, two or three commentators from BT.

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