If history is anything to go by, England’s hopes of winning the Ashes urn may be over before they start.
In 2010, England ventured down to Australia after not winning on foreign soil for 24 years.
Although Andrew Strauss’ men held the urn, few thought they were a chance to defend it given their struggles on the rock-hard Australian tracks and the scorching sun.
However, the ECB made one request that could not be negotiated. They insisted on getting a series of warm-up matches to give themselves a chance.
England got their wish and played two three-day matches and a four-day match against an Australian A team.
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Ian Bell went into the first Test at the back of a massive century, Captain Strauss had found form and his bowlers went into The Gabba with overs under the belt.
In the end, England won the series 3-1.
A decade later, and England’s chances of winning the ashes back have been thrown into disarray due to factors beyond their control.
The weather gods have not been kind to them and the rain is splashing their first tour match within the squad.
Next week’s second tour match at the Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane is also in doubt, with up to 20mm of rain for Monday and rain expected into the week.
That means their crucial batsmen Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who have not played for England since July, could be denied a hit in the run-up to the preliminary test.
Pat Cummins is not taken for granted to become the 47th Australian Test captain for men as Cricket Australia continued board meetings on Thursday night to try to reach a decision.
With Ashes just two weeks away, the board met just a day after a five-person panel interviewed Cummins and Steve Smith to become Tim Paine’s successor.
According to Sydney Morning Herald and Aging, a decision can come as early as Friday.
Although Cummins has been the hot favorite to take on management responsibilities following Paine’s sexting scandal since the story broke out a week ago, the publication says “there is some heat to the redemptive story of Smith”.
Across all sports boards, in general, the election of voters or the selection panel – voters George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, CEO Nick Hockley, chairman Richard Freudenstein and director Mel Jones – but after recent events and a crucial five-match Ashes series days away, the board is considering the matter extra.
Sources have indicated that Cummins was reluctant to take on the role in large part due to the extra responsibilities that come with it. Sydney Morning Herald and Aging also reports this.
Cummins has not missed a test in the last two Ashes campaigns and has not missed a test due to an injury since 2017, but the 28-year-old solid bowler is relatively inexperienced when it comes to captaincy.
Cricket New South Wales sensed that a change of leadership was not far off last season given Paine’s age, and Cricket New South Wales took steps to revive the problem by giving him one day as captain of the Blues.
He impressed in his limited options, guiding a strong NSW side into a List-A final.
But he missed the decisive battle because of his former IPL responsibilities.
Nevertheless, his teammates have supported Cummins to succeed if he takes on the role.
Meanwhile, Smith told News Corp earlier this year that he was ready to captain Australia again after being rejected for a year due to the 2018 sandpaper scandal that shook the nation and saw three excluded, a coach resigned and an administration stepped aside.
Spin bowler Nathan Lyon said he was excited about the prospect of a bowler leading the way, but added that no matter which way Australia’s board turned, the team was in good health.
“I think it would have a really positive effect if you look at the guys who are going to be captain and vice-captain, and whichever way it goes, I think they are both extremely respected in Australian cricket and world cricket. “said Lyon.
“I think it will be a real advantage that if you have a bowler mindset, also a batters mindset. Instead of having two batters mindsets, you actually have both mindsets that can come together and really come along. a really good guide.
“I’m really excited about the fact that we potentially want a bowler as captain, but by saying we also got the best of the best batteries and one of the best players to play the match in Smith there as well.
“I think cricket Australia will be in some good hands.”
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Cummins also has the support of Shane Warne, but the former vice-captain and Australia’s biggest wicket-taker believes it’s time to look past Steve Smith for any leadership role.
In a column for News Corp, Warne said Australia should turn to Marnus Labuschagne as Cummins’ deputy.
“In so many ways, it’s time to move on, and that includes moving on from Steve Smith as official leader,” Warne wrote.
“We have to go into the ashes now with a clean slate, not open old wounds by appointing Steve Smith vice-captain.
“He is a leader in the team and you do not need a C or VC next to your name to be a leader.
“Just by being on the sidelines, Steve Smith will be a valuable asset to Pat Cummins and Marnus Labuschagne, who should be vice-captains.”
Warne added that David Warner had the best cricket brain on the team, but had unfairly had a line put through his name after the sandpaper scandal.
He also expressed disappointment that Mitch Marsh was not in XI and the all-rounder would have been his choice as Cummins’ vice-captain if he were in the squad.