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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Schedule of England vs Australia Ashes 2009 Series

Much-awaited test series Ashes 2009 kicks off from 8 July 2009. Host England is now gearing up to take revenge of their humiliating white-wash at the hands of their traditional rivals Australia in Ashes 2007 which took place in Australia. With a depleted squad, on the other hand, Australia would like to continue their dominance over the English side.



Ashes series is the most traditional bilateral rivalry in the history of cricket. Tracing back to its origin in 1876/77, you can see that how much influence Ashes series had on the development of cricket in its formative years. In fact, international test cricket started through Ashes series between England and Australia. Today, there are a number of rivalries in cricket including India-Pakistan, Australia-New Zealand and Australia-South Africa. However, Ashes was the first cricketing rivalry in Cricket, and still today, this is considered to be one of the most popular test series in world cricket.



Well, Ashes may have a century-long history and an undeniable prestige, but in terms of competitiveness, Ashes looked bleak for more than a decade since 1989 because of Australia’s one-sided dominance. However, an indication of revival of Ashes came in 2005 when England, under their inspirational captain Michael Vaughan, retained the Ashes title before the home crowed. There are many who consider 2005 Ashes as the start of demise of Australia’s decade-long dominance.



Australia lost much of its strength over the last few years mainly because of a series of retirements of some of their great players like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Damien Martin, Adam Gilchrist and some others. Australian team itself is going through its formative years as a number of young players are getting used to international cricket besides gaining experience. Leg spin legend Shane Warne played a huge role behind Australia’s decade-long dominance in Ashes, but now the situation is that there is no quality established spinner in the Aussie camp. Naturally, England is looking forward to building on this disadvantage of the visitors and that is why, ECB decided to organize the first test at Cardiff where spinners generally get lots of assistance from the pitch.



Australia may take some inspiration from their success in the last Ashes tournament back in home, but they should also remember that they lost four years back in England. So, Australia has no room for complacency; otherwise it could lead Ricky Ponting boys to a devastating result in Ashes 2009. Australia’s recent form is not pretty much satisfactory and there is no doubt, Australia’s huge dominance over world cricket has been fading away now. They lost the home test series to South Africa, and even though they defeated the same opponent away few weeks later, Australia has not retained its real dominance in world cricket yet.



England stirred a seemingly-dying Ashes rivalry all the way in 2005, defeating visiting Australia. Even though England lost the title to Australia two years later, England fans are still confident England would be able to reproduce their 2005 performance this year and would once again retain the title. The intensity of the 2005 triumph was so huge that England cricketers still take inspiration from a series which took place four years back. Alike Australia, England holds a mixed performance recently.



England defeated West Indies in their recent test series at home 2-0, and thus, retaining the Wisden Trophy which they had lost just few months back in West Indies. Last year, England lost the test series 1-0 against India after suffering a humiliating 2-1 defeat in a four-match test series against South Africa at home. However, one thing is for sure that England is pretty much confident ahead of the series mainly because of two things. First of all, English cricketers are pretty much organized under the leadership of Strauss and the guidance of Andy Flower. The working relationship between the captain and coach is another positive side of England. Secondly, the decline of Australia’s invincible status in world cricket after the loss of a number of former greats must have increased the guile among the English cricketers.



Both sides have a number of match winners. Let us start with English side. In the presence of Strauss, Ravi Bopara, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Graeme Swann and James Anderson, England seems to have formed a balanced squad which is capable of challenging Australia. Specially, spinner Swann could play a big role for the home side in the series.

Australia also has some key players in Ponting, Hussey, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Simon Katich, North, who got century in the tour match against England Lions, and Shane Watson. The only specialist spinner in the squad is Nathan Hauritz who may not seem very promising yet, but could be viral for the visiting side.



Here, I am giving you the full schedule of Ashes 2009 series:



Match

Date

Competing

Teams

Time

Venues

1st

Test

July

8-12

Wed-

Sun

England

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

Sophia Gardens, Cardiff

2nd

Test

July

16-20

Thu-

Mon

England

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

Lord's, London

Tour

Match

July

24-26

Fri-

Sun

Northampton-shire

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

County Ground, Northampton

3rd

Test

July

30-

Aug 3

Thu-

Mon

England

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

Edgbaston, Birmingham

4th Test

Aug

7-11

Fri-

Tue

England

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

Headingley, Leeds

Tour

Match

Aug

15-16

Sat-

Sun

Kent

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

St Lawrence Ground, Canterbury

5th Match

Aug

20-

24

Thu-

Mon

England

Vs

Australia

Local

11:00;

GMT

10:00

Kennington Oval, London

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