Ashes 2017 begins with the first Test at the Gabba. Presently, England has the trophy and there can be no better strategy for Australia to nick it than to put up the first match in a ground where it never lost. Since 1986, Australia has never lost a Test match at Gabba and England never won match in the format at the location. Thus, it is obvious that England will have to toil on the first match to tackle Australia. Also, no team would like to lose the first match of a series and carry a disadvantage. Gabba is notorious for bounce and pace on the pitch. The former is something that England has always struggled with and in the pre-match interview Australia captain Steven Smith already highlighted his plan to use the bouncy option.
The likes of James Anderson and Chris Woakes, might turn Gabba’s bouncy pitch against Australia.
To challenge, England has good options. Currently the team is with a strong batting line up, which can supposedly tackle any threat of bounce as well as pace. Australia’s bets are Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Shaun Marsh. But these players are considered less than a danger by England strikers. Additionally, the same aspects of bounce and pace might come up as the challenge for Australia too. England has players like James Anderson and Chris Woakes, who has the potential to wreak a havoc with their bowling. Thus, unlike Australia’s thought, the Gabba match might turn up as an advantage for England.
Especially, at Gabba, Australia has been dominant. However, the present squad has a couple of players like Shaun Marsh and Tim Paine, who are considered as loose points by the England squad. Still, the conditions of Australia might be not favorable for England this time. This was apparent clearly in the warmup and welcome matches with the A team and XI’s from domestic circuit. England, however, is viewing Australia’s bowling ensemble as an advantage in the match. In batting, the teams might be at par, but in bowling the visitors are considering their own team as superior. England seems not worried about the new inclusions in the team like Tim Paine and Bancroft. The visitors are focusing on the old and standard batting setup comprising of Steven Smith and David Warner.Source : ecb.co.uk
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