The Ashes series is a Test series between Australia and England. It is a symbol of the historic rivalry between the two sides. In fact this rivalry is considered to be even bigger than the India-Pakistan rivalry. The two sides have been playing against each other for a very long time. Their history can be traced back as far as 1882 when Australia beat England on home soil. A satirical obituary stated that English cricket had died, and “the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia”. The 2017-18 edition of the Ashes series is set to take place in Australia. With a rivalry as fierce as this, the Ashes series odds will be going through the roof.
In terms of head-to-head clashes, the two teams have met 69 times. In other words, the 2017-18 edition will be the 70th time that the two will be meeting. England have held on to the Ashes on 33 occasions. Australia on the other hand have held on to the Ashes on 36 encounters. However, on paper, there have been 4 instances where the result was a draw. Off those 4 clashes, the result has gone in Australia’s favour 3 times, while England have only been victorious once.
Although the Ashes are more than a month away, the England team have already announced their squad. Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root(c), Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton and Steven Finn all find themselves on the team. A notable absence is Ben Stokes, the Test vice captain is regarded as one of the best all-rounders. But he has been the subject of controversy off late. As it turns out, Stokes was involved in a bar brawl in late September.
Meanwhile, the Australian team are not too fussed about announcing their squads just yet. But they are running out of options as James Pattinson has picked up an injury. Also, Glenn Maxwell has been out of form but he is still harbouring some hope that he will be included.