The 2019 Ashes series are approaching with World Cup champions England looking to win back the Ashes urn that Australia hold. Here we detail the five bowlers to watch over the series.
A calf injury ruled Anderson out of the Lord’s Test against Ireland and England will be desperate to see the most successful fast bowler of all time fit for the start of the Ashes.
The Burnley Express, who turns 37 two days before the first Test, remains a master of his craft and his County Championship efforts for Lancashire this summer include match figures of 9-47 against Derbyshire in June.
Anderson’s first experience of Ashes cricket was chastening – five wickets at 82.6 apiece in the 2006-07 series in Australia – but he was magnificent four years later, claiming 24 wickets in England’s 3-1 victory down under.
He maintains high standards of control and discipline – his economy rate in the 2017-18 away Ashes series was a miserly 2.11 – and his skill in English conditions was reflected by a haul of 33 wickets at an average of 18.4 in seven home Tests against Pakistan and India last summer.
No Test Appearances
The Barbados-born paceman made his international debut for England in May this year; just over two months later he was bowling the Super Over in a World Cup final at Lord’s.
Having helped England become 50-over world champions – just – Archer will surely be given a Test debut against Australia and there are no doubts over his talent and temperament at the highest level.
He made his name in Twenty20 leagues around the world, starring in Australia’s Big Bash and the Indian Premier League, but his pacy yorkers and well-directed short balls should make him a huge threat in Test cricket too.
Archer took 61 wickets in 13 County Championship games for Sussex in 2017, and 42 in just eight appearances last summer, and despite his lack of Test experience he is no bigger than 7-2 to be England’s top series wicket-taker.
One half of England’s record-breaking pace attack, Broad made an underwhelming Ashes debut in 2009, taking 1-129 in Australia’s first innings of the Cardiff Test.
It didn’t take the lanky seamer long to unsettle the Aussies, however, and his 5-37 at The Oval set up England’s victory in the 2009 series decider at The Oval.
Broad has claimed five hauls of five or more wickets in an innings in 15 home Ashes Tests with the undisputed highlight coming in 2015 at Trent Bridge where his incredible burst of 8-15 skittled Australia for 60.
The 33-year-old has been lightly raced in the build-up to this series but he relishes the battle against the old enemy and the in-play betting picture can change very quickly when Broad gets on a roll with the ball in hand.
Australia’s World Cup campaign ended in a heavy semi-final defeat to England but backers of Starc to be top tournament wicket-taker had few nervous moments.
The left-armer claimed 27 scalps, six more than any other bowler, and he was also named man of the tournament at the 2015 World Cup.
He tormented England’s batsmen in the 2017-18 Ashes, picking up 22 wickets in four appearances and producing an unplayable delivery to bowl James Vince in Perth.
Starc’s last Test, against Sri Lanka in Canberra in January, yielded match figures of 10-100 and his fast inswingers are often too good for lower-order batsmen – 42 per cent of his 211 Test wickets were bowled or lbw.
Only Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee have taken more Test wickets for Australia than Lyon and the understated off-spinner played a crucial role in the 4-0 series victory over England in 2017-18.
He comprehensively out bowled England spinner Moeen Ali, taking 21 wickets at an average of 29 while Moeen’s five scalps cost him 115 runs apiece.
Lyon followed up with 16 wickets in four Tests in South Africa, 12 in two matches against Pakistan in the UAE, and 21 in the four-Test home series against India, and his consistency allows Australia to use their strike bowlers in short, sharp spells.
The spinner’s record in England is solid – 25 wickets in eight Tests and his economy rate of 2.95 runs per over suggests he can test the patience of some aggressive home batsmen.
Want our free Ashes betting tips and predictions ahead of the tournament and cricket tips for each of the Ashes tests? Click here to bookmark our Cricket betting tips page.