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Australia are back... again

Updated: May 17

But what's changed since they were here last year?

("England's Ben Stokes on his haunches, taking in the victory over Australia, on Day 4 of the 3rd Test of the 2019 Ashes at Headingley"by Ben Sutherland is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

It seems at the moment that no English summer is complete without the Australians popping by in one form or another. 2016 was the last year an Australian side did not visit England. It’s a money-spinner so you can see why both nations are always so keen to play off the historical rivalry but in all honesty it’d be nice to just have a break from this relentless fixture before it loses its magic.

A downbeat way to start a preview I know and I also know I’m not the first to mention it but it does begin to wear.

In any case... they’re back and we should be thankful for all of the cricket we get to see this summer after we were threatened with none at all.

3 ODIs and 3 T20s lie ahead for the two oldest rivals both played in the usual bubbles of Manchester and Southampton. Australia have a large touring party of 21 players for these games but with the inability to call up any injury additions and the desire to play intrasquad games has meant that this engorged squad has become a necessity.

So, what’s changed since Australia were last here?

New Players

Uncapped players Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe and Daniel Sams have all been picked in the squad although it will be tricky to break through into a strong Australia team. It will be far more likely that the teams that Justin Langer picks will be household names in England.

Australia will have met all the England squad before in one form or another. Even Tom Banton, who has yet to play Australia, made a big impression in his Big Bash debut season for the Brisbane Heat so he is by no means an unknown quantity.


This is a slightly tenuous one as this series is set to finish exactly a year after the previous Ashes series ended and the weather looks to be staying by and large between 10-20 the whole way through. Unlike last year though, some of these games will be under floodlights.

When it gets dark in September in England it will be very chilly indeed and nothing like playing under the floodlights in New South Wales on a late summer's eve. This will feel bitterly cold to the uninitiated.

The Crowds

David Warner and Steve Smith will no doubt be delighted that they won’t have the baying English fans on their backs on this tour. Not that it affected their respective form in the World Cup last summer but even so it will make a change from the booing that, rightly or wrongly, these two will receive every time they play in England for the rest of their careers.

Some players thrive off being the pantomime villain, Stuart Broad being one and Warner definitely gives the impression that he enjoys it too. Steve Smith on the other hand goes into a world of his own, it takes a 90 mile an hour ball to the helmet to shake off his batting trance.

("England's rather low run rate after the first five overs of Day 4 of the 2019 Ashes against Australia"by Ben Sutherland is licensed under CC BY 2.0)

The Grounds

Australia famously have happy hunting grounds within England. Lords for example has been a particular favourite over the years for the touring Aussies. The English not winning a Test at Lords against Australia between 1934 and 2009.

This time however they’ll be stuck with just the two grounds in the Ageas Bowl and Old Trafford. To quote the stats, Australia have won 75% of their ODIs at the Ageas Bowl, while Manchester has in the past only offered a win for the tourists 4 out of 10 times.

Tying in with the theme of lack of crowds the atmosphere of Edgbaston and Headingley would have made them very difficult places to perform. Both Southampton and Old Trafford have very little recent history to haunt the Australians with and therefore could work in their advantage.

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