Australia vs. England
|Date & Time||Thursday August 1, 2019, 6:00 AM (EDT)|
England -110 / Draw+550 / Australia +162
England and Australia are set to battle for the Ashes this summer. The first Test match of the 2019 Ashes series is set to take place at Edgbaston in Birmingham.
England have had an extraordinary summer as the team won the ICC World Cup. Players like Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, and Ben Stokes were all vital members of the World Cup squad and their presence in the Ashes squad will give the team lots of confidence. Prior to the start of this match, England played a Test match against Ireland in Lords. While the batting was shaky at times, England eventually showed their class as they won the game by 143 runs. Stuart Broad was the star performer for England as the pace bowler took 9 wickets in the match. Chris Woakes was also very impressive as he took 6 wickets in the final inning. England look like a confident team and that will make them very tough to beat in this match.
On the other side of the coin, Australia enter this series following some very poor results in Test match cricket. Australia were beaten at home by India at the start of the year and the team looks unsettled. The return of Steve Smith and David Warner should strengthen their batting but there is still huge doubts over the rest of the players. The captain, Tim Paine, looks to playing for his position which is not an ideal situation for the team. Australia will be hoping for big performances by their pace bowlers although Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have not been playing well in Test matches recently. Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon will be vital for Australia as both bowlers have been playing well in recent times.
The conditions at Birmingham usually favor batting. That being said, the Duke ball that is set to be used usually aids swing and seam so the pace bowlers are set to be vital for both England and Australia. Edgbaston has typically been a fortress for England.
Taking everything into consideration, I am going to pick England to win this match. England have been playing their best cricket this summer while Australia have lacked at times. Australia have been poor in Test cricket for the last 18 months and I don’t see them having enough form to defeat England at Edgbaston.