Australia - Ponting, Clarke, Bollinger, Doherty, Ferguson, Haddin, Harris, Hauritz, Hussey, Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Katich, Khawaja, North, Siddle, Smith, Watson.
England (and decent players from Rest of the World) - Strauss, Cook, Anderson, Bell, Collingwood, Pietersen, Bresnan, Broad, Davies, Finn, Morgan, Panesar, Prior, Swann, Tremlett, Trott.
* 1st Test - The Gabba - 25th-29th November 2010
* 2nd Test - The Adelaide Oval - 3rd-7th December 2010
* 3rd Test - The WACA - 16th-20th December 2010
* 4th Test - The MCG - 26th-30th December 2010
* 5th Test - Sydney Cricket Ground - 3rd-7th January 2011
The Gabba. Brisbane. Usually steamy with the ball doing a great deal in the opening session. Nightmare for batsmen early on. If England were to bat and survive the first session without losing a wicket I'm afraid the Aussies are done for. If the Aussies were to have them 4 for then we're in with a shot.
Adelaide Oval. Adelaide (of course). Great batting pitch. I expect the Poms to bat better than the Aussies and this match could be a draw only because England decide to make 700 runs instead of 500 "just to be safe".
The WACA. Perth. Should be 38C. Every day. The heat should take it out of the Poms and I expect the Aussies to win this match. Extra bounce might be difficult for the Poms to get used to.
The MCG. Melbourne. One of the greatest sporting arenas in the world hosting a magnificent contest. That is if England isn't already 3-0 up and has won the series. Weather plays a bit part in Melbourne. Expect it to be dry, windy, cold, wet and then sunny. All before the first drinks break. Expect more of the same after the first drinks break. Should be just like playing in England. Except for the dry and sunny bits. England to triumph.
SCG. Sydney. Traditional turning pitch. Aussies having already lost the series will include Hauritz, Doherty, Smith, North and Clark as spinners desparate to win a match. Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar will show them how to bowl and England will still win. If the weather holds up.
betfair odds (23/11/2010):
Reasons that I think Australia will struggle to be competitive include;
Mitchell Johnson doesn't have enough support from the other bowlers to enable him to be the frontline bowler that we all know he can be. He'll try to hard to bowl England out and not concentrate on putting the ball in the right spot. Not enough discipline from the bowlers to keep the pressure on.
Michael Clark appears to just want to maintain a decent batting average and in no way attempts to push the scoring along when batting with the tail. Steve Waugh did this very effectively. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that he's injured and we might actually unearth someone who is a batsman.
Ricky Ponting is past his prime with regards to his batting and captaincy. Time for Brad Haddin to replace him. If we lose this series, as I expect, although the bookies don't, he'll lose the captaincy.
Hussey and North will be batting to retain their spots rather than batting with supremacy over England. Not going to be consistent enough.
Watson and Katich should be the best performing Aussies bats, followed by Johnson (at least in average) as the ball won't move around as much as the England bowlers are used to. But with Watson having injured himself in the last Shield match Australia will miss his bowling ability.
Collingwood will be a thorn as he is difficult to remove and a great fighter. Reminds me a great deal of Steve Waugh.
Broad is a great young bowler with some fire in the belly. Also a tad petulant but will give as good as he gets. Decent bat as well and with tired Aussie bowlers will score a fair amount of runs.
Pietersen could change a test match during one session. Expect to see this happen a couple of times during the series.
I’m tipping England 3-1. Hard to see any match not having a result.