The Ashes: can England continue Britain’s summer of sporting success?

Well, you may think, surely 2013 cannot possibly eclipse the summer of 2012? With the European Champions and the London Olympic and Paralympic games, you’d probably be right, but as we’ve  already seen with Justin Rose at the US Open, the Lions in Australia and Andy Murray at Wimbledon, that this summer appears to be just as successful for Britain as last year.

But, it’s not over yet. The Ashes is imminent. Can the lads make it a hat trick of wins against the Aussies? Can England do more than just win and as Ian Botham believes they can, “whitewash” Australia?

England go into this series as favourites and in every department seem to be stronger than Australia.

The England cricket team look to improve on this summer's already impressive sporting success. Photo:Cennydd Bowles (via Flickr)

Lets start with the two sides’ batting line-ups for the first test at Trent Bridge starting today at 11am.

England named their 13-man squad on Saturday and it includes youngster Joe Root who is expected to be opening the batting with captain Alastair Cook.

England’s batting line up from that looks pretty straightforward and menacing.

The metronomic Jonathan Trott at 3, the unpredictable Kevin Pietersen and then Ian Bell, Jonny Bairstow and wicket keeper come batsman Matt Prior.

It’s a formidable looking batting line-up and it’s hard to see England not making at least 300 every time they go out and bat, providing of course they don’t have an absolute disastrous collapse.

The Aussies, other than captain Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin and Shane Watson, look toothless.

England’s bowling attack look far superior as well. Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann will lead the attack with Graham Onions, Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn all vying for a place in the 11 man team to start on Wednesday morning.

Australia however, has a very inexperienced look about there bowling attack with James Pattinson leading the way with his potential.

England have an established line of cricketers in their squad but Australia look inexperienced and indeed don’t have players the calibre of Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath or Ricky Ponting to send shivers down the necks of the England fans.

For those not totally “up” with cricket, each test will last for a maximum of 5 days and the winner at the end of the series will be the team with the most victories out of the 5 tests.

The first test begins today at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

The remaining 4 tests are:

18th July – 22nd July, Lords London

1st August – 5th August, Old Trafford Manchester

9th August – 13th August, Riverside Ground Chester-Le-Street

21st August – 25th August, Kennington Oval, London

Because I’m English and naturally brought up to dislike Australian sportsman, I predict an England victory of 3-0.

I can see Australia playing well enough to get a couple of draws together but I cannot see for the life of me, Australia being able to get 20 wickets in a test match when it really matters.

Linc Sport will be following the Ashes throughout the summer with previews and reviews for every test.

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