England v Australia – Who Has The Edge? Part Two

australia-outI think it’s fairly safe to say that every single England cricket fan enjoyed Australia’s early exit from the ICC World Twenty20. It isn’t too often that us English have a chance to mock the Aussies, so we shall make the most of it. As one spectator put it – ‘enjoy Leicester Ricky’!

This is because the Australian team now have a two week training camp in Leicester to help them prepare for the 2009 Ashes series. Their first warm up game starts against Sussex on the 24th June, so until then they are being left to contemplate their weaknesses in the Twenty20 game.

In all honesty though, the World Twenty20 was the least important part of the summer for Australia. In just under a month’s time, they will be taking on England in the Ashes series and this is what they will be judged on. This is what they will be going back to Australia talking about.

With this in mind, let me continue my look at the two Ashes squads. This time I have a mixture of all-rounders, wicket-keepers and bowlers. Who has the edge in these areas? Let’s find out.

Brad Haddin v Matt Prior – The Australian has the edge in terms of his work with the gloves. Since taking over the reigns from Adam Gilchrist, he has been very tidy indeed. With the bat though, it is much tighter. Prior has the edge with a average closer to 50 than 40, but Haddin can be a very dangerous stroke player.

Mitchell Johnson v Andrew Flintoff – In my opinion, this is the most crucial battle of the lot. I have said for a while that Johnson’s form could be huge for Australia and we all know what Freddie can do when he turns it on. Could both be the ‘turn to bowler’ for their captain’s as well. Johnson probably edges Fred on batting at the minute though.

Andrew McDonald v Stuart Broad – Broad is turning into a fantastic Test cricketer. His batting is continuing to improve and his wicket taking ability is becoming more and more threatening. He seems to have increased his pace as well. McDonald on the other hand, is more of a container than a genuine threat with the ball and has yet to perform too well for Australia.

Nathan Hauritz v Graeme Swann – Everyone knows that Australia are struggling to replace Shane Warne in terms of finding a world-class spinner for their team. Hauritz has impressed in limited overs cricket, but can he make the adjustment to the Test arena? Swann has managed to do it for England by having a fantastic winter and start to the summer. It will be a test for him against the Aussie’s though.

Peter Siddle v James Anderson – Siddle bowls at 90mph and swings it. Anderson bowls around 90mph and swings it. Therefore, these two are very closely matched. Both can be a real threat to the opposing batting line-up. Anderson has more experience though and this could give him the edge.

That concludes the latest look at the England and Australia squads. In terms of these five contests, it is very even once again. The pace attacks are actually quite similar, England have the edge in the spin department though.

Next time we will be taking a look at the remaining English and Australian players. This includes Brett Lee, Graeme Onions, Stuart Clark and Ryan Sidebottom. You wouldn’t want to miss that would you?

Until next time – good luck England in the Super Eights!

By Thomas Rooney – A sports writer who blogs about Ashes cricket

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3 comments so far

  1. Tony T

    Haddin v. Prior

    Over here we don’t rate Haddin’s keeping. We don’t call him Klutz for nothing.

    I understand Prior is a bit of a klutz behind the stumps, too, so Prior could take the points on his batting.

    That said, Haddin was slow to get going as a Test batsman, so his average could well be on the way up.

  2. Comment

    The 2009 Ashes, if it’s half as good as 2005 it will be an epic!

  3. Mike

    To be honest, Tony, over here we don’t rate Prior either so perhaps this Ashes series will be won by byes conceded. Clash of the shit keepers.

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