Less than a week out from the Ashes opener, I’ve decided to get involved with the fantasy side of things.
You can play across here with Virtual Sports, the same team who run SuperCoach and Real Dream Team.
Our League Code is 971207, so jump in!
A.Cook, A.Lyth, G.Ballance, I.Bell, J.Root, B.Stokes, J.Buttler, M.Ali, S.Broad, M.Wood, J.Anderson
Missing: Rashid, Footitt, Plunkett
The Poms were pretty happy with themselves following the series with New Zealand, which they drew 1-1. Captain Cook finally got some runs, 300 of them in fact across the two tests. He’ll open the batting with Adam Lyth from Yorkshire, who made his debut and got 150 runs with a highest of 107.
Ian Bell and Joe Root are locks in the middle order and Gary Ballance should keep his spot in the side despite averaging just 9 in the NZ series, perhaps he’ll get shuffled down the order from his usual number three.
In Stokes and Buttler a lot of faith in the future of English cricket has been placed. For our sake, let’s hope the expectation is too much for them. However, the reality is they’re both fantastic players.
I would love to see a leg-spinner in Adil Rashid named as I toil in the trade as well, but Moeen Ali is most likely to get the number eight position for Test #1. Rashid hasn’t played test cricket for England before but recently broke into the ODI side with good success with bat and ball.
Speedster Mark Wood (9 wickets v NZ) will accompany the incumbents Stuart Broad (13 wickets v NZ) and James Anderson (only 6 v NZ) in the pace department.
C. Rogers, D.Warner, S.Smith, M.Clarke, A.Voges, M.Marsh, B.Haddin, M.Johnson, M.Starc, J.Hazlewood, N.Lyon
Missing: Harris, S.Marsh, Watson, Nevill, Ahmed, Siddle
There’s a bit more debate over the Aussie side, mainly due to the depth and the number of players who are performing right now.
I’d open with the trusty two, especially Rogers who has thousands upon thousands of runs in England.
Captain and Vice Captain sit in the next two positions, and I’d love to see Adam Voges at number five in the first test side. Like Rogers and unlike Shaun Marsh, he has lots of experience playing in England with county side Nottinghamshire, and provides a handy left-arm spin option too.
I’ve got no idea what the selectors are thinking in regards to Mitch Marsh versus Shane Watson. I’d back youth but Boof might prefer experience.
With Ryan Harris ruled out of the first two tests, the final five spots fill themselves: keeper Haddin, spinner Lyon and pacemen from the Carribean, Johnson, Starc and Hazlewood. The trio worries me a bit, and it doesn’t look as formidable without the consistency and nouse of Rhino.
How’s your side shaping up? Let’s talk teams and how I came up with my squad on Twitter @joshschon or in the comments below. Don’t forget to join our league! Details at the top.