The Ashes Series 2017-18: Schedule and Squads of Australia and England
The Ashes series is not only a bilateral Test series but also a fight for pride. Two of the world’s strongest cricket playing nations- England and Australia- fights against each other to grab the urn that contains a burnt cricket bail. Both England and Australia will be seen once again to compete against each other for one of the cricket’s highest trophies. The 2017-18 Ashes series will kick off on November 23, 2017 and it will continue till January 8, 2018. Matches will be hosted at five venues across Australia. Schedule of the Ashes series, 2017-18 has been given below:
|November 23-27, 2017||Australia vs England
|Local Time 10:00
|The Gabba, Brisbane|
|December 2-6, 2017||Australia vs England
|Local Time 14:00
|Adelaide Oval, Adelaide|
|December 14-18, 2017||Australia vs England
|Local Time 10:30
|W.A.C.A. Ground, Perth|
|December 26-30, 2017||Australia vs England
|Local Time 10:30
|Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne|
|January 4-8, 2018||Australia vs England
|Local Time 10:30
|Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney|
Australian cricket team’s Test squad for the Ashes series 2017:
Cricket Australia (CA) has announced a 13-man squad for the first two matches of the series. The 32-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, Tim Paine, is perhaps the most surprising inclusion in this squad. Paine, who has been recalled in the Test team after seven years, has replaced the out-of-form Matthew Wade and because of his inclusion, Peter Nevill has failed to get a place in the national team.
Showing outstanding performances in the early rounds of the 2017-18 JLT Sheffield Shield season, both Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh have earned their places in the squad. Bancroft is likely to make open with the bat alongside Vice-captain David Warner. On the other hand, Glenn Maxwell and Hilton Cartwright, who are chief competitors for the No. 6 spot, have been left out in favor of Marsh.
Bowling line-up is made up of new and experienced bowlers. The 30-year-old right-arm medium bowler, Chadd Sayers, is likely to make his debut with this series. However, making debut will not be an easy task because pace trio- Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood- will get the most priority. Jackson Bird has been selected in the squad as back-up fast bowler. Nathan Lyon is in good form. He showed his best form in India and Bangladesh tour. So, it is expected that he will do well with the ball in home ground.
Australia’s squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice-captain), Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Cameron Bancroft, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
England cricket team’s Test squad for the Ashes series 2017-18:
The exclusion of Ben Stokes, Vice-captain of the England Test cricket team, has come as a big blow for the national side. The 26-year-old all-rounder was named in the initial squad, but due to the uncertainty over his availability of the upcoming series, he was ruled out of the squad. He is still waiting to hear the verdict regarding his alleged involvement in a fight outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25. The question is if he is found guilty and given punishment who will replace him. The probable replacement is Craig Overton who is yet to make international debut. However, in the absence of Stokes, James Anderson has been named England’s Vice-captain for the Test series.
Another bad news for the England cricket team is that one of their key pace bowlers, Steven Finn, has been left out of Australia tour after sustaining knee injury before the first warm-up game. He has been replaced by Tom Curran.
England’s squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson (vice-captain), Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ben Stokes, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.
Despite the absence of these two major players, England is still considered the hot favorite team. They are the defending champion. So, the biggest challenge for them is to defend the title. As the series will be played in Australia, the host nation will get the home advantage. No doubt, both of these countries will give their best effort to win the trophy. Let’s see who can snatch the trophy.