Is it really two years since I last posted here? Hmmm.
Anyway, it was instructive in 2013 that the hypothetical team I selected from both Ashes squads contained more Australians than Englishmen. After all, England had just won the Ashes against the worst Australian team in living memory. How could it be possible that man-for-man more Australians were deserving of a place in my team?
Subsequent events (5-0 to Australia in the 2013-14 tour) proved that I was in fact too kind to England in my selections.
Now it’s 2015 and we could do the same exercise with another tour of South Africa in the offing. As I write this I have no idea who I’m going to pick so let’s find out together:
- Smith *
- Nevill †
Rest of the squad
- M Marsh
Six Aussies in the first team
In 2013 there were 7 Australians in the combined side so this is an improvement for England but still shows that the result of the Ashes series favoured the home team a bit.
Cook makes an even better case for inclusion this time but still just loses out to Rogers and Warner (yes, I know Rogers has now retired but the point of this exercise is to pick the best players from the Ashes series).
Moeen Ali was wasted batting at 8. He would have scored more runs batting higher because he often got out flinging the bat when England were 9 wickets down. Even at 8 he still scored more runs than every other player except Cook and Root.
My team has a long tail with Peter Siddle coming in at 8. Neither middle order distinguished itself enough to give me a better option but Mitchell Marsh might have come in instad of Anderson who had a poor series except for Edgbaston.