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The Ashes: Series predictions vary wildly ahead of first Test

22 November 2017 14:31

The 2017-18 Ashes is finally about to get under way, with the Gabba in Brisbane playing host to the first Test from Thursday.

As ever, the build-up to the series has seen players, fans and pundits offering their opinions on where the series will be won and lost.

Here, four members of the Omnisport team stick their necks out to predict the final scoreline.

But what do you think? Either way, we will soon find out.

 

Matt Rossleigh: "I'm going for 3-1 Australia"

"I'm not going to predict 5-0 for Australia, but I think Australia will win. England's top order, we're not really sure [how they will go], unless Root and Cook score runs. Australia's seamers, we've seen what Starc's recently done. I don't think we'll see [anyone reach] the heights of Mitchell Johnson from four years ago, but I think Australia will win. We won't see 5-0, I'm going to go for 3-1. I think the urn that England are bringing over might be staying in Australia.

 

Nicholas McGee: "England have been slightly under-rated and maybe Australia have been slightly over-rated"

"This is a series between two very similar sides. Both have fragile batting line-ups. I'd maybe give the edge slightly to England in that regard, with Root and Cook. You've seen in the warm-ups as well that guys like Mark Stoneman have delivered, albeit against weaker attacks. The edge is maybe with Australia when it comes to the bowlers, particularly with Ben Stokes not there. But I think England have been slightly under-rated and maybe Australia have been slightly over-rated in the build-up to the series. So I'm going to go with England by 2-1." 

 

Iain Strachan: "England are going to really struggle"

"I'm not too confident about this one [from an English perspective], to be honest. I think England are going to really struggle without Ben Stokes in the team. There's a lack of settled options at two, three and five and I think here in England we're maybe underestimating how strong Australia's bowling attack will be on home soil. Personally I think this could be 4-1 to Australia, or maybe 3-2 to the hosts."

 

Matthew Scott: "Joe Root's men can nick a 2-2 draw to retain the urn"

"When it became clear that Ben Stokes would not be travelling with England to Australia, you would have been hard pressed to find any predictions of English success, including from myself. But as the series has got closer and closer, Australia seem desperate to drag themselves deeper into the mire. Cameron Bancroft? Shaun Marsh at six? Tim Paine keeping?! These don't strike me as short- or long-term solutions and I think Steve Smith will be changing things again before the series is through.  By contrast, England have settled on a method for replacing Stokes ... and I think that could play into the tourists' hands, with Joe Root's men nicking a 2-2 draw - hopefully in a rare Sydney decider - to retain the urn."

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