Cricket followers should be looking forward to a real treat this weekend and over the next few weeks as Kwese TV continues to bring live coverage of the legendary Ashes Cricket series between England and Australia.
Indeed, the oldest and biggest rivalry in Test cricket, the Ashes Series is already underway ‘Down Under’, where the Aussies already have a one nil lead.
What started off way back in 1882 in the form of a newspaper headline in an English publication that was mourning ‘the death’ of that country’s cricket following a humiliating defeat by Australia, has over the years grown to become the most fiercely contested series in the Gentleman’s Game.
Australia obliterated England by 10 wickets in the first Test played from November 23 to 27 at The Gabba in Brisbane, Australia. After a promising first innings of 302, England were wiped out for 195 in their second innings. This left Australia with a target of 173 runs to win the first contest, and they went on to cruise to victory without losing a wicket on the morning of the fifth and final day.
Australian captain Steven Smith was the man of the match after his unbeaten 141 runs in the first innings. The Australian skipper was not even required to bat in the second innings as Cameron Bancroft and David Warner did the job.
But now, as the second Test starts on Saturday (December 2) at the Adelaide Oval, England will be certainly hoping to turn things around. The Day/Night affair should present England with the best chance to come back strongly into the series. With the pink ball getting incredible swing under floodlights, the England pace bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad can be exceptionally dangerous.
England are however missing their star all-rounder Ben Stokes, who they were forced to leave behind under the cloud of an on-going police investigation on suspicion of causing bodily harm outside a Bristol nightclub on September 25, 2017. There was, for a moment, an air of excitement when Stokes was spotted at Heathrow Airport on November 27, with speculation rife that he was headed to Australia for the Ashes. This forced the England and Wales Cricket Board to issue a statement saying the 26-year-old was in fact travelling to New Zealand, to spend some time with his family.
Stokes has signed for New Zealand’s Canterbury, to play in the Kiwis’ domestic league as their overseas player. This is seen as a way of keeping him in good shape should he be needed by England. Given his immense talent, England would certainly welcome Stokes back into the fold with open arms the moment he is cleared by the police.
Meanwhile, the vastly talented Smith, explosive opener Warner, the composed Khawaja and Shaun Marsh are the key players fronting the Australian batting line up. Seamers Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins as well as off spinner Nathan Lyon did the job for the Aussies with ball-in-hand and should play a huge part if Australia are to win the series.
For England, skipper Joe Root, just like Smith, is an extremely talented batsman. Together with Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Alastair Cook, James Vince and Dawid Malan they are the crucial players on the batting front for the English. The hugely experienced Anderson and Broad are the backbone of the England bowling attack. They have able assistants in Chris Woakes and Jake Ball.
Cricket lovers can catch all the remaining four Tests on Kwesé Free Sports channel on Kwese TV, where ball by ball action is provided together with in-depth analysis. The action stretches all the way into the New Year, with promises of excitement and exhilaration for the fans.
Australia: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner (vice captain), Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird, Chadd Sayers.
England: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson (vice captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow(wicketkeeper), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Mason Crane, Tom Curran, Ben Foakes, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Chris Woakes.