With the Ashes just a few days away, England has already started their preparations for the much anticipated series.
14 players have been called to the pre-Ashes training camp. This group will be travelling to Spain to undergo a four day training period, where they will be warming up under the guidance of their new coach Trevor Bayliss.
According to Andrew Strauss, Director of England cricket, this training period will involve a combination of physical and fielding sessions and planning meetings in an informal environment in order to provide the best possible lead for England before the first Test in Cardiff.
Derbyshire left-arm seamer Mark Footitt is the only uncapped name in training squad. Leg spinner Adil Rashid will not feature in this squad as England plan to go with Moeen Ali’s off-spin.
The 14 man training squad is as follows:
Alastair Cook,Moeen Ali, James Anderson , Gary Ballance , Ian Bell, Stuart Broad,Jos Buttler , Steven Finn, Mark Footitt , Adam Lyth ,Liam Plunkett ,Joe Root , Ben Stokes; Mark Wood
The English side will be led again by Alaistar Cook as the home team will be looking forward to face a formidable Australia, who recently demolished the West Indies 2-0. England on the other hand, drew the Test series 1-1 with New Zealand.
In the last Ashes, which was held in Australia, England were handed a humiliating 5-0 series whitewash by the hosts. Now it will be interesting to see what the English side can do on their home turf.
Here is a list of 5 England players whose performance can change the fate of their team.
1) Moeen Ali
Ali, in Test cricket, plays for England with captain Cook and also bowls some tremendous off-spin. In short, either way he has become a key player for England over the last year he has played. England will be heavily dependant on this left arm batsman to play the second new ball well and his off-spin will be equally vital as England will be probably banking on his spinning services.
2) Joe Root
This 24 year old has become an indispensable batsman in the English middle order. Coming in at number five position, he offers stability to the English batting by scoring runs. When he starts to score, he always aims to go big. Root was in a fine touch in the Test series against the Blackcaps and England will just hope that he continues his form in the Ashes also.
3) Ben Stokes
Former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had recently claimed that Stokes is a better all-rounder than he was! This statement is alone enough to justify the capabilities of this Durham all-rounder. He can score batting down the order and can also bowl medium pace. His experience of the last Ashes will come handy in the upcoming one and will make a difference in England’s performance. Only thing he has to watch out is his temper which the Aussie’s will plan to ignite through their classic sledging.
4) Stuart Broad
The last Ashes played on English soil back in 2013 was won by England 3-0. Stuart Broad was highly successful in that series as he scalped 22 wickets. Along with his bowling partner James Anderson, he rattled the Australian batsmen with his accurate line and length, deadly Yorkers, fatal bouncers and unplayable reverse-swinging deliveries. England will be hoping that Broad will repeat his performance in this edition.
5) James Anderson
James Anderson has now become the highest wicket-taker in England’s Test history. Just like Broad, he also took 22 wickets in the last Ashes played in England. The home side will be depend on him a lot as his the English conditions favour his swing bowling to a large extent. He should be able to exploit the conditions and produce results for his team.