The Ashes 2017-18: 10 Australia and England players to watch out for
It will be a battle between Joe Root and Alastair Cook vs Steve Smith and David Warner's men in the upcoming Ashes series. (Photo: AP)
It will be a battle between Joe Root and Alastair Cook vs Steve Smith and David Warner's men in the upcoming Ashes series. (Photo: AP)
 Steve Smith, the world's number one ranked Test batsman, took over the Test captaincy from Michael Clarke at the end of the last Ashes series in 2015, and will be leading  Australia for the first time in Tests against England. Has scored 20 100s in 56 Tests at 59.66, with a highest score of 215 in the last Ashes series at Lord's. The fidgety right-hander batting at four looms as his side's big batting hope with his improvised shot-making. Scored five centuries in 18 Ashes Tests at 54.74. (Photo: AP)
Steve Smith, the world's number one ranked Test batsman, took over the Test captaincy from Michael Clarke at the end of the last Ashes series in 2015, and will be leading Australia for the first time in Tests against England. Has scored 20 100s in 56 Tests at 59.66, with a highest score of 215 in the last Ashes series at Lord's. The fidgety right-hander batting at four looms as his side's big batting hope with his improvised shot-making. Scored five centuries in 18 Ashes Tests at 54.74. (Photo: AP)
The 26-year-old right-hander, Joe Root, is the most talented batsman in the England squad as well as having the responsibility of being skipper, with this his first overseas series as captain. Since taking over as captain earlier this year, he has averaged more than 60 in Tests. Root's side will look to their captain to shore up a struggling top order by blunting Australia's pace attack with big scores. (Photo: AP)
The 26-year-old right-hander, Joe Root, is the most talented batsman in the England squad as well as having the responsibility of being skipper, with this his first overseas series as captain. Since taking over as captain earlier this year, he has averaged more than 60 in Tests. Root's side will look to their captain to shore up a struggling top order by blunting Australia's pace attack with big scores. (Photo: AP)
As England's all-time leading run-scorer, with more than 11,000 Test runs, the former captain and left-handed opening batsman Alastair Cook could well be someone Root seeks out for advice. The 32-year-old had a brilliant series when England won the 2010-2011 Ashes in Australia, scoring 766 runs at an astounding average of more than 127. But he struggled during England's 5-0 series loss in Australia in 2013-2014, and questions remain as to whether he can get back to his best in the face of top-class fast bowling. (Photo: AP)
As England's all-time leading run-scorer, with more than 11,000 Test runs, the former captain and left-handed opening batsman Alastair Cook could well be someone Root seeks out for advice. The 32-year-old had a brilliant series when England won the 2010-2011 Ashes in Australia, scoring 766 runs at an astounding average of more than 127. But he struggled during England's 5-0 series loss in Australia in 2013-2014, and questions remain as to whether he can get back to his best in the face of top-class fast bowling. (Photo: AP)
David Warner is the top-ranked opener in Tests and overall the fifth-ranked batsman. This is his fourth Ashes and second at home, and he possesses the rare ability to turn matches with his destructive hitting. Has scored 5,705 Test runs at 47.94 interspersed with 20 hundreds in his 66 Tests. . Warner's highest Test score stands at 253 against New Zealand in Perth in 2015.(Photo: AP)
David Warner is the top-ranked opener in Tests and overall the fifth-ranked batsman. This is his fourth Ashes and second at home, and he possesses the rare ability to turn matches with his destructive hitting. Has scored 5,705 Test runs at 47.94 interspersed with 20 hundreds in his 66 Tests. . Warner's highest Test score stands at 253 against New Zealand in Perth in 2015.(Photo: AP)
Lethal left-arm quick who is Australia's pace spearhead with an incredible strike-rate. In 36 Tests Mitchell Starc has captured 148 wickets at 28.35, with 29 of those coming in eight Ashes Tests. This will be his first home Ashes series and he has taken half his Test wickets (74) in Australia. Starc gets alarming bounce from his 1.96m height and can swing the ball. Has taken six wickets in an innings three times, including 6-111 against England at Nottingham in 2015. Heads into the series with back-to-back hat-tricks for New South Wales in one Sheffield Shield match this season, and looks a key strike weapon bowling in tandem with new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood.(Photo: AP)
Lethal left-arm quick who is Australia's pace spearhead with an incredible strike-rate. In 36 Tests Mitchell Starc has captured 148 wickets at 28.35, with 29 of those coming in eight Ashes Tests. This will be his first home Ashes series and he has taken half his Test wickets (74) in Australia. Starc gets alarming bounce from his 1.96m height and can swing the ball. Has taken six wickets in an innings three times, including 6-111 against England at Nottingham in 2015. Heads into the series with back-to-back hat-tricks for New South Wales in one Sheffield Shield match this season, and looks a key strike weapon bowling in tandem with new-ball partner Josh Hazlewood.(Photo: AP)
Stuart Broad, the 31-year-old pacer from Nottingham had a decent warm up leading to the Ashes down under, having picked up nine wickets in the Test series back home against West Indies. In the two practice games ahead of the opener on Thursday, Broad picked up a total of three wickets. The all-rounder will hope to fill in the void for Ben Stokes, who misses out from Joe Root’s side. (Photo: AP)
Stuart Broad, the 31-year-old pacer from Nottingham had a decent warm up leading to the Ashes down under, having picked up nine wickets in the Test series back home against West Indies. In the two practice games ahead of the opener on Thursday, Broad picked up a total of three wickets. The all-rounder will hope to fill in the void for Ben Stokes, who misses out from Joe Root’s side. (Photo: AP)
Josh Hazlewood represents a different threat to England's batsmen with his metronomic line and length in the Glenn McGrath mould. The sixth-ranked bowler in Tests represents a handy foil to the explosiveness of new-ball partner Starc. In 31 Tests, the right fast-medium pacer has captured 118 wickets at 25.75, including 16 in four Ashes Tests at 25.75. Hazlewood has statistically kept pace with his boyhood idol McGrath, or near enough to it, during the early stages of his international careerThis is his second Ashes series, but the first at home.(Photo: AP)
Josh Hazlewood represents a different threat to England's batsmen with his metronomic line and length in the Glenn McGrath mould. The sixth-ranked bowler in Tests represents a handy foil to the explosiveness of new-ball partner Starc. In 31 Tests, the right fast-medium pacer has captured 118 wickets at 25.75, including 16 in four Ashes Tests at 25.75. Hazlewood has statistically kept pace with his boyhood idol McGrath, or near enough to it, during the early stages of his international careerThis is his second Ashes series, but the first at home.(Photo: AP)
Jonny Bairstow, the 28-year-old son of the late England wicket-keeper David Bairstow has become a mainstay of the side with both bat and gloves. On paper, he appears to give England an edge behind the stumps, given the reaction that greeted Australia's decision to recall wicketkeeper Tim Paine from the wilderness. Bairstow can also change the course of an innings with dynamic middle-order batting but, in common with so many of his England team-mates, there are doubts over his ability to cope with express bowling on bouncy pitches.(Photo: AP)
Jonny Bairstow, the 28-year-old son of the late England wicket-keeper David Bairstow has become a mainstay of the side with both bat and gloves. On paper, he appears to give England an edge behind the stumps, given the reaction that greeted Australia's decision to recall wicketkeeper Tim Paine from the wilderness. Bairstow can also change the course of an innings with dynamic middle-order batting but, in common with so many of his England team-mates, there are doubts over his ability to cope with express bowling on bouncy pitches.(Photo: AP)
Nathan Lyon will come into the five-Test Ashes series with full of confidence, having taken more than 15 wickets in the domestic season with New South Wales. Lyon has enough experience in playing the Ashes, having been part of Michael Clarke’s Australia side, which whitewashed England at home 5-0 in the series. (Photo: PTI)
Nathan Lyon will come into the five-Test Ashes series with full of confidence, having taken more than 15 wickets in the domestic season with New South Wales. Lyon has enough experience in playing the Ashes, having been part of Michael Clarke’s Australia side, which whitewashed England at home 5-0 in the series. (Photo: PTI)
James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, remains Root's go-to bowler in the field, so if Australia can get after him then England could well struggle. Although he reached 500 Test wickets earlier this year there are concerns that, at the age of 35, this could be one tour of Australia too many for Anderson. Unlikely to get the swing-friendly conditions that make him so dangerous in England, he will be looking to improve on a record in Australia that has seen him take 43 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 38. Now vice-captain in the absence of the suspended Ben Stokes. (Photo: AP)
James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, remains Root's go-to bowler in the field, so if Australia can get after him then England could well struggle. Although he reached 500 Test wickets earlier this year there are concerns that, at the age of 35, this could be one tour of Australia too many for Anderson. Unlikely to get the swing-friendly conditions that make him so dangerous in England, he will be looking to improve on a record in Australia that has seen him take 43 wickets in 13 Tests at an average of 38. Now vice-captain in the absence of the suspended Ben Stokes. (Photo: AP)