Stay up to speed with all the latest news from the Ashes by signing up for our free newsletter written by our sports feature writer Vithushan Ehantharajah
The decorations are up, the outside frosty, the wine warm and the Ashes just around the corner. It truly is the most wonderful time of the year.
This will be an Ashes series in Australia very different to the rest. Music to the ears of England fans who have endured plenty of long, torturous winter months keeping tabs on goings-on Down Under.
Preparations have hardly been far from ideal. Both sides are undercooked, a problem exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, a packed schedule and two teams figuring themselves out ahead of playing out the latest chapter of a historic rivalry dating back to 1882.
It’s hard to gauge what state both sides will be in, beyond Australia’s edge at home off the back of 5-0 en 4-0 series wins in 2013/14 en 2017/18. England’s comfort comes from their opponent’s disarray with Tim Paine stepping down as captain and replaced by Pat Cummins just last month, along with the form of their own leader Joe Root and the return of talismanic allrounder Ben Stokes.
To stay up to speed with all the latest news from the Ashes, Die Onafhanklike will be sending out a dedicated newsletter the morning after the conclusion of all five Test matches, reviewing what happened and what happens next. All you have to do to receive our Ashes emails is sign up to our free weekly The Sports Brief newsletter.
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