5-0? Not even without Ben
WITH a few notable exceptions (stand up Mr Flintoff), why is everyone so negative about the possibility of England retaining the Ashes this winter?
Although I accept that England do not have a settled top order, do Australia? No. Who has the best wicketkeeper/batsman? England. Is Nathan Lyon in a different class to Moeen Ali? No. Has Australia got a more potent bowling strike force? Yes, but only if they are all fit, and James Pattinson has already withdrawn.
If Australia can keep their remaining strike bowlers fit, coupled with the fact they have home advantage, they are slight favoutites.
But I emphasise the word “slight”, and I think it is going to be far closer than the 5-0 that certain doom merchants would have us believe (with or without Ben Stokes).
So let’s be positive. We have a cracking squad full of talent, capable of beating anyone on its day. Will we ever be able to say the same about the football team?
MARCUS TAPLEY PEABODY, via email