The Wessex Scene previews the England Ashes squad for November 2013, a team hoping to triumph in Australia and thus retain the coveted urn.
For the second time this year, the Ashes is upon us. This time however, England will be in Australia. Having retained the urn in the summer, team captain Alastair Cook will be hoping for a repeat performance from his side that won so convincingly on home turf.
The squad were flown out of London in late October and began their warm up against Western Australia on the 31st without Alastair Cook, who is still expected to be fit for the series start. The team will then play Australia A on November 6th and New South Wales XI on November 13th before the series starts.
Here is our preview for the Winter series:
Alastair Cook (Captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Michael Carberry, Boyd Rankin, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Joe Root, Graeme Swann, Ben Stokes, Chris Tremlett, Jonathan Trott.
Among those called up, Ben Stokes, Gary Ballance and Boyd Rankin are uncapped for England at test match level. All-rounder Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of the series with a back injury, but will travel with the squad.
1st Test – 21st to 25th November
2nd Test – 5th to 9th December
3rd Test – 13th to 17th December
4th Test – 26th to 30th December
5th Test – 3rd to 7th January
1st Test – The Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test – Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
3rd Test – WACA Ground, Perth
4th Test – MCG, Melbourne
5th Test – SCG, Sydney
Key Debate – HotSpot™
The controversial review system that caused so much debate in the summer has gone! Well, temporarily anyway. After numerous gaffes and mistakes earlier in the year, Australian broadcaster Channel 9 has decided against paying the £150,000 fee to use the system, and instead plan to use a cheaper alternative. However, if nothing is agreed, it may see umpires take centre stage again. Hopefully, it’ll be for the right reasons this time.
* This article was written before the 1st test in Brisbane took place on November 21st.