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Ashes Series 2023 outright predictions & betting tips

Updated on 11:52am GMT 13 June 2023
Ashes Series 2023 outright predictions & betting tips

Not since 2005 has there been the same level of excitement ahead of an Ashes series.

As was the case 18 years ago, Australia head to England in possession of the urn but will meet an England side who have adopted a fearless approach in Test cricket.

Ashes Series 2023 outright predictions

Best bet – Australia to win the Ashes

An Ashes victory seemed a million miles away for England when they were ground into submission in Australia 18 months ago.

But much has changed in the intervening period. England are under new management, with Ben Stokes replacing Joe Root as captain and swashbuckling Kiwi Brendon McCullum coming in as coach. And the pair have dispensed with any caution or fear of failure, fostering an ultra-attacking style which has won fans, plaudits and ultimately matches.

England have won 11 of their 13 Tests under the Stokes-McCullum axis, recording home series wins over South Africa and India last summer before making history in a landmark 3-0 series triumph in Pakistan over the winter.

However, just like 2005, Australia will provide the ultimate test.

There are question marks over openers Usman Khawaja, who has struggled in English conditions before, and David Warner, who barely scored a run in England in the 2019 series, but the rest of Australia’s side looks formidable.

Steve Smith continues to be the scourge of English bowlers and he is augmented by the similarly redoutable Marnus Labuschagne at number three.

Travis Head, who looks more and more at home in Test cricket, can take the game away from sides quickly, as England found out twice down under in 2021-22, while rising star Cameron Green is the X-factor all-rounder Australian cricket has craved for so long.

Alex Carey is dependable behind the stumps and can also score quickly with the bat.

But it is Australia’s fearsome bowling unit which could spearhead a first Ashes series success in England since 2001.

The big three of captain Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc are all world-class seamers and even if one drops out of the starting XI then the unerringly accurate Scott Boland, who could thrive on English wickets, will come in. Throw off-spinning great Nathan Lyon into the mix and England have a serious job on their hands.

As is their way these days, England won’t fear the Australian bowlers, but their sole defeat of last summer against South Africa at Lord’s could prove to be a cautionary tale.

England were dismissed for 165 and 149 in that Test as they kept coming at South Africa’s attack, which is arguably second only to Australia’s.

Stokes’ men won’t take a backwards step but for all the excitement their ‘Bazball’ approach brings, it may be their undoing against such a high-quality bowling unit over the next six weeks.

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