Ashes 2010: Australia and England’s Players in Waiting

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Ashes 100-1 Countdown: 24 Days Until the Ashes

The selectors of both England and Australia are unlikely to buck the trend and do something drastic prior to the first test at The Gabba on November 25th. We can pretty much ink in the batting lineups for each outfit today, 24 days before The Ashes. Australia will line up with as follows: 1) Katich 2) Watson 3) Ponting 4) Clarke 5) Hussey 6) North 7) Haddin. Meanwhile, England’s order looks like so: 1) Strauss 2) Cook 3) Trott 4) Pietersen 5) Collingwood 6) Bell 7) Prior. Whilst we can be fairly confident about the starting lineups, our confidence doesn’t hide the cracks.

For Australia the two players most shaky are Marcus North and Mr. Cricket Mike Hussey. Marcus North cemented his place in the side with a century in the sub continent. But he can maybe consider himself lucky to be there with an average of only 38 despite 5 centuries. Mike Hussey, on the other hand, has only mustered 2 centuries in 2 years.

For England Alistair Cook’s temperament and mental strength have been called into question. In the middle order, KP’s form has been appalling andĀ  Paul Collingwood hasn’t scored many runs in recent times either. It begs the question, who will each team turn to if their batsmen falter?

Australia’s most likely candidate is Callum Ferguson who’s kicked off his first class season with a century for South Australia. Ironically in the same game the batters most in threat – Hussey and North – both failed. Ferguson has an extremely modest first class average of 35 but his form of late has been impressive. If he can translate his one day form for Australia (averaging 46) into test form then he’ll do well.

Similarly, England’s replacement batter Eoin Morgan has had a remarkable start to his one day career (averaging 41) for his country. He shines in the shorter versions of the game as was illustrated by his T20 average of 52 and his birth in the team coinciding with England’s T20 World Cup triumph.

Both players possess similar strengths including mental toughness and an array of shots. They share the style of game that should succeed in Australian conditions.

We might be seeing these faces sooner rather than later if a heavy defeat is inflicted on either side come the much anticipatedĀ  Gabba test.

How confident would you feel with these replacements at your disposal?

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