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2021/22 Ashes Preview – What can England do down under?

England v India Lords Test 2021

Australia v England – The Ashes

It’s been a sensational year of cricket on the field in 2021, with the T20 World Cup, the inaugural Hundred 10 over tournament and some fascinating match ups against India among the highlights, but the most anticipated competition is still to come (at least for England and Australia fans) as The Ashes is back in Australia this winter.

The build up to the tournament however has been far less sensational. Covid and travel restrictions have continued to be problematic for all parties, whilst strong allegations of racist behaviour has ripped through Yorkshire and English cricket. Equality and diversity is being questioned throughout the game and will continue to dominate a lot of the headlines for the following years to come.

Australia have also been rocked by Tim Paine’s sexting scandal, resulting in the newly appointed captain stepping down just a few weeks before the first test. He replaced Steve Smith, who also stepped down due to ball tampering and the credibility of international cricket is under the microscope.

Yet the show continues to go on and both sets of players will be desperate to get out on the field and test themselves in the fiercest rivalry in cricket. It’s been an astonishing 10 years since England managed to win just one test match away from home in Australia, let alone a series as 4-0 and 5-0 drubbings have humiliated England during the last two away outings. England completely maxed out their calendar across all three formats of the game, including 12 test matches in total, winning just 4 of those 12. Depth throughout the formats is seemingly one of England’s strengths at present, but physical and mental fatigue could play a part with the gruelling task of battling against Australia over the winter ahead.

The Aussies however have hardly played any red ball cricket at all! Largely due to covid and travel restrictions, the squad will be looking to find some form quickly and could be caught cold if England are able to start strong and aggressive.

Squads

The match squads are likely to change throughout the series but the first test line ups have been announced for the crucial opener at The Gabba. Since Paine’s departure, the home sides 11 was largely predictable, with key members such as David Warner, Steven Smith, captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyan and Josh Hazlewood all included. Travis Head got the nod over Usman Khawaja in the middle order, whilst Alex Carey has come in behind the stumps. Marcus Harris will open with Warner and the Aussies will be feeling extremely confident, having not lost in Brisbane since the 1986-87 series.

The England line-up had some selection dilemma’s, which has included the exclusion of Jimmy Anderson, who is getting up to speed for the 2nd test. Burns and Hameed will have an incredibly important job opening for the visitors, with Malan, Root and the returning Stokes ready to play a vital role with the bat. Ollie Pope has made the team instead of the more experienced Jonny Bairstow, whilst arguably the best T20 batsmen in the world Jos Buttler will wicket for England.  With rain forecast, England are looking to capitalise with four quicks as Woakes, Robinson, Wood and Broad lead the charge.

England (2-2) Australia | 2019 Ashes

It feels like a lifetime ago, but England and Australia put on a real show back in the summer of 2019 as Australia more than deserved their draw to retain the Ashes.

1st Test | The away side got off to the perfect start with a win in Birmingham. Steve Smith put on a batting masterclass, aggressively scoring 144 & 142 in his two innings that never allowed England into the game. The hosts had a realistic chance to hang onto the draw at the start of the final day, but Nathan Lyon and Pat Cummins ripped through the order and left England needing to look into the mirror as they game was wrapped up by tea.

2nd Test | The expected Ashes drama was ramped up in the second test at Lord’s with Australia fending off the onslaught to grab a vital draw. It was neck and neck after the first innings, but with the majority of play over and rain delays throughout, it was going to take an aggressive approach to force a result. Up stepped Ben Stokes who ramped up the pace with a quick century, allowing England to declare with just 48 overs left in the final day. Australia at 5.6 an over could have won the match but three wickets in the first 14 overs pushed Australia back and gave England a strong sniff of a win. But the Southern Hemisphere rival kept their cool and batted their way to the draw.

3rd Test | Headingley hosted one of the all time test match classics with incredible highs and lows throughout the five days, resulting in a one wicket win by England to keep them in the running to win the Ashes. A dismal 67 runs were scored by England in their first innings with Australia setting a target of 359 across both innings. For England to somehow win this bizarre contest, they would need a record 4th innings run chase. Openers Roy and Burns went for a combined 15 and the inevitable embarrassment was staring the home side right in their faces. Root and Denley sparked revival however, with 126 runs scored before the man of the match in the previous test Ben Stokes, took the game to Australia once more. Still incredibly unlikely, Stokes and 11th man Leach needed 73 runs to win and with no wickets in hand, it was deemed impossible. But Leach stayed calm, scoring 1 run while at the other end, Stokes exploded and despite numerous opportunities for Australia to seal the win in the field, he held his nerve and secured an outstanding win.

4th Test | There was no heroics from Root or Stokes in this match at Old Trafford as Australia dominated from the off, ensuring that the urn would be back down under once again. A double century in the first innings from who else but Steve Smith put Australia significantly in the driving seat and they never looked back.

5th Test | The Oval held the final match of the the 2019 Ashes and England played confidently to ensure the series ended in a draw. Jofra Archer’s relentless pace secured key wickets across the five days, resulting in a player of the match award in his first Ashes series. Steve Smith, with an sparkling 774 runs across the tournament won the player of the series and Australia avoided defeat in Britain for the first time since 2001.

Australia (4-0) England | 2017/18 Ashes

England were dispatched with ease during the 2017/18 Ashes in Australia, often dominating early in matches with the bat to force England to try and play to survive. Outside of the fourth test match in Melbourne, where England scored 491 to earn a draw, there was very little positives to take. England will be desperate to ensure that they get a win on the board early in 2021/22 to give themselves a chance of winning.

England Fixtures this Summer

The Summer of 2022 brings lot’s of great international cricket. For a chance to watch England in style this summer, please enquire through the links below.

2022 England v India ODI Series

2022 England v India T20 Series

2022 England v New Zealand Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – ODI Series

2022 England v South Africa – Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – T20 Series

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ICC T20 World Cup Review

England – How it began

England kicked off their T20 World Cup in great fashion in a bustling Dubai by thrashing the reigning champions West Indies by 6 wickets. England’s bowlers were on fine form, Adil Rashid took four, Moeen Ali taking two, Tymal Mills also taking two and one each for Chris Woakes and Chris Jordan. England were just as clinical with the bat, only losing four wickets. Butler earned England most of their runs with 24 not out, a combined effort saw England over the line with 56-4. England got the job done in only 8.2 overs, England have their eye on the trophy and what a way to get their tournament underway.

Despite missing some keys players such as Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer and Sam Curran who are all nursing injuries, England still produced a dominant performance. These players were instrumental during the 2019 ODI World Cup, with Stokes and Archer displaying heroics in the final against New Zealand.

Battering of Bangladesh

With the first game out the way and now a distant memory, England’s next hurdle came in the shape of Bangladesh. Bangladesh won the toss and opted to bat first. England’s bowlers were yet again in fine form, with Ali taking two early wickets. Bangladesh star man Shakib Al Hasan was dismissed shortly after by Chris Woakes. Bangladesh only managed to conjure up a total of 124 runs, the feeling after that innings was positive from an England perspective.

Jason Roy opened the batting in characteristically bullish style. He produced 61 runs, hitting five 4’s and three 6’s. Roy’s night came to an end when he was caught by Nasum. Butler was also victim to being caught, finishing his time with the bat on 18 runs. Malan and Bairstow saw out the win in comfortable style. This was Bangladesh’s second loss of the tournament, it doesn’t look likely that they will progress much further in the competition. England, however, have put themselves in prime position going into their third match against Australia. The match with Australia will be a tricky test for England’s cricketers.

Damage Done in Dubai

The stage was set at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. The England players knew this was a crucial game and if won they would be a brilliant position. An unchanged England side opted to bowl first. Woakes took a huge first wicket taking David Warner after only two balls with Warner scoring just one run. This pattern continued when a heroic catch from a bang in form Woakes who sent Steve Smith on his way for 1. The rest of England’s bowling was sharp and had a very dangerous feel to it. Australia’s batsman finished their innings on an underwhelming 125.

England’s stand out batsman this game was Jos Buttler, who smashed his was to a very impressive 71 not out. It took England 11.4 overs to score a total of 126. Another opponent dismantled, could England be the team to beat during this T20 World Cup? With Jos Buttler talked about being the best short format batsman in the world, it’s no surprise that the confidence in the camp was continuing to increase.

Buttler’s Batting Brilliance

England’s game against Sri Lanka was going to be far from an easy fixture. Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to field first. England had proved handy with the bad throughout the tournament so far. However, this was not mirrored at the start of the innings with Jason Roy being bowled out after facing only 6 balls. It was England’s other opening batsman, Jos Buttler who was to make the headlines. Buttler spent 104 minutes in bat, in this time he managed to hit a huge score of 101 not out. He managed six 4’s and six 6’s. His aggressive approach was exactly what England needed. He became only the fourth man to to hit a T20 hundred for England, and what a time to do it. England ended their innings with 163-4. It was up to Sri Lanka to chase down that score. England’s bowlers were yet again in fine form, with a mix of aggressive fast bowling and tantalising spin. Sri Lanka could only reach 137 all out, England had proved they were just too powerful for Sri Lanka.

Sharjah Summed Up

Sharjah is where England played their final group match of the tournament. This challenge was in the form of a South Africa side who were also looking to progress to the later stages of the T20 World Cup. England decided to field first. England’s bowlers could not seem to replicate a brilliant bowling performance like the one against Australia. South Africa ended their time with the bat on 189-2, a very respectable score.

England were somewhat inconsistent in their batting and suffered their first defeat in the T20 World Cup. England, South Africa and Australia all finished their group matches on 8 points each. This didn’t however hinder England’s progression to the semi-final as they had a better overall run rate than South Africa. England’s Net run rate was 2.464, Australia’s 1.216 and South Africa’s being 0.739. This meant England and Australia made it to the semi-finals, while South Africa’s tournament came crashing to a halt.

Round up from Group 2 

Group 2 also provided a similar amount of drama, with some outstanding cricket being played. Pakistan strolled to being crowned group winners, they remained unbeaten in their group winning all five of their games. New Zealand were hot on the tails of the Pakistan team, they won 4 out of 5 of their matches, only losing to a persistent Pakistan side by 5 wickets. The team that surprised many were India. India didn’t manage to make it out the group and only mustered up 3 wins from their 5 games. With India being a nation who are cricket mad, this must have come as a huge disappointment to many Indian fans, including Virat Kohli, who took his final bow as T20 Indian camptain. One team from each group disappointed with no wins across all their games and those two teams were Bangladesh and Scotland.

All Set for the Semis

The First semi-final commences on the 10th of November where England take on New Zealand. This will be a re-match of the 2019 Cricket ODI World Cup Final. New Zealand will be looking to avenge the loss they were handed by England in a stunning final in England. It promises to a heavily contested match as both teams finished on 8 points in the group stage. England have been tipped to edge it against New Zealand, I’m sure cricket fans across England will be watching with everything crossed.

Pakistan face Australia in the second semi-final on Thursday the 11th of November. A ruthless Pakistan side are the only team who have gone unbeaten throughout the tournament so far and they will of course look to keep that 100% winning record intact against Australia. The favourites going into this semi-final are Pakistan, can Australia cause an upset and make it to the final? England won a tight T20 series 2-1 against Pakistan in the summer, so Eoin Morgan and the team will be confident in facing them in the final., even without Jason Roy and Tymal Mills due to injury.

Tale of the Two Semis

New Zealand looked to take revenge of England in the first Semi-final of the T20 World Cup. New Zealand took to the field first and hoped their bowlers could get in some early wickets. England’s batting performance got off to a modest start. The two openers Butler and Bairstow earned England a combined total of 42 runs off 41 balls. The stand out batsman during England’s innings was Ali who produced a great total of 51, which kept England hopes alive. New Zealand had 166 to chase. They managed to chase England’s 166 with an over to spare. Impressive performances from Mitchell, Conway and Neesham helped New Zealand edge it over England. It was not to be for England but they can hold their heads high after a tournament with some great performances.

The second Semi-Final saw Australia and Pakistan battle it out for a place in the lucrative T20 World Cup Final. Australia won the toss and like many teams over the tournament, decided to field first. Pakistan have showed throughout the World Cup they can be very useful with the bat and this pattern continued. Rizwan hit 67 after being caught out by Smith, Babar also fell victim in Australian hands as he was caught by Warner. It was Pakistan’s opening three who really made up most of the runs, Their closing three only managed a total of 2 runs between them. As well as New Zealand, Australia finished the game off in 19 overs. Notable performances from Stonis and Wade who remained not out, saw Australia to the win with 177-5. It was to be a final between the two teams in the Southern Hemisphere.

The Final

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium hosted the Final and what a venue it is. New Zealand were put into bat first, Guptill got things underway with a trio of fours in quick succession. Things were going well for New Zealand, Williamson was mounting a promising attack for them up until a rampant Williamson dismissed him. Williamson took a further two wickets in a short space of time, this was to be the downfall for New Zealand. Australia needed to score 174 runs to win the T20 World Cup. It was their time to bat and openers Warner and Finch confidently made their way out to the pitch. Finch didn’t last long as he was caught by boult for 5, Warner however hit a very respectable 53. Marsh earned Australia the majority of their runs, hitting a huge 77, Maxwell contributed 28 runs which saw Australia win their first T20 World Cup. Australia had powered to an 8 wicket thrashing of New Zealand. And just like that the curtain is closed on the T20 World Cup, what a tournament it has been from Dubai.

The Summer of 2022 brings lot’s of great international cricket. For a chance to watch England in style this summer, please enquire at the links below.

2022 England v India ODI Series

2022 England v India T20 Series

2022 England v New Zealand Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – ODI Series

2022 England v South Africa – Test Series

2022 England v South Africa – T20 Series

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Final Day Cancelled due to Covid. India had a 2-1 Series lead

Engage Guests at Lord's Sidebottom, Prior, Small

England v India – What will be the series outcome?

The BCCI and ECB are locked in discussions over the outcome of the test series between England v India after India pulled out of the 5th test at Old Trafford due to covid infections. This will have a large bearing over the test rankings and there’s no timeframe on the final result!

4th Test Match England v India – India won by 157 runs

The Kia Oval very rarely fails to disappoint in drama and the 4th test match between England and India was no different.

England won the toss and chose to bowl, with the wicket predicted to come to the batsmen over the coming days and it looked to be the right decision by captain Root. A bright start by Woakes, Robinson and Anderson saw the fast paced England attack take important early wickets, reducing India to 39-3, 69-4 and a 105-5. Kohli kept the morning and afternoon sessions respectable with a half century, before Robinson made the crucial breakthrough with the perfect length to force the edge and into the hands of Bairstow.

England struggled again in this series to take care of the tailenders as Thakur hit 57 off 36 to top score for the visitors. A score of 191, England were the happier of the two teams going into the next innings but they failed to capitalise with a dismal opening start. Burns and Hameed opened for England but in 4 overs they were both dismissed by Bumrah with just 6 on the board. Root and Malan put some runs on the board but by the morning of day 2, England were sitting on 62/5 and were staring down another embarrassing innings with the bat.

A hero needed to step up and that man was Ollie Pope who dragged England back into the game with a solid 81 from 159 balls, supported by respectable contributions from Bairstow, Ali, and a quick half century from Woakes. England ended the innings on 290 and a smaller lead than they would have liked in relation to the conditions.

With an hour or so left in Day 2, England tried to take some crucial early wickets like they did in the first innings. The Kia Oval capacity crowd were in great voice and expecting a late flurry of wickets but Rohit Sharma and Rahul held strong and saw out the evening effectively.

Day three was an exemplary batting performance from India who stayed patient and put the runs on the board to force them into a favourable position. Man of the Match Rohit Sharma was the pick of the bunch, scoring 127 runs at just under 3 an over but solid contributions came in throughout the order. India piled on the runs all the way through to the back end of day 4, scoring 465 and challenging England to chase down a record 368 from a day and a bit’s play.

Huge pressure on Hameed and Burns in a beautiful Sunday’s evening at the Oval to see out the session, especially after their shocking first innings display. But credit to the both of them as they gave England a realistic shot of winning this test match, ending on 77/0 at the end of the day, playing defensively solid cricket.

Day 5, glorious London sunshine, just what test cricket is all about! It was a tall order for England to score 291 to win but it was definitely possible and the atmosphere was absolutely buzzing from both sides, with a huge Indian following contributing to a brilliant test match.

Burns and Hammed both reached 50 and the morning session was looking to be going England’s way, but then Burns edged a beauty from Thakur as the ball started to reverse swing. Malan got himself in but a terrible run out through hesitation cost him his place and the crumble commenced in the afternoon.

England were on 131-2 at lunch and the game was tantalisingly poised. But Jadeja and some world-class bowling from Bumrah tore England’s hopes to shreds and before you knew it, England were 147-6 and staring glaringly at defeat. Root hung on for another few overs, but Thakur bowled a slower delivery on a length, outside off and Root nicks an inside edge and after that it was all over.

India recovered from a terrible start and pulled off an immaculate victory in a crucial test match to give them a great chance of taking the series in full. This really was test cricket at it’s finest and it was brilliant to be there and host our guests.

Please get in touch to secure your hospitality places for 2022, with England in action throughout, as well as great domestic opportunities such as The Hundred and T20 Blast.

3rd Test Match England v India – England won by an innings and 76 runs

England absolutely stormed to victory at Headingley, winning by an innings and 76 runs in a vital test match for the series.

Joe Root continued his unbelievable form with the bat, scoring 121 runs from 165 balls to power past India’s shocking opening innings score of 78. Burns and Hameed came out to open and put up 135 runs, immediately putting pressure on the India bowlers to try and get them back into the game. Malan scored 70, Overton 32 and Bairstow 29 to give England a commanding first innings lead.

Ultimately it was the England bowling attack that won them this game. Ollie Robinson had an outstanding test match, taking 7 wickets across the two innings to earn the player of the match and a justification of his recent return to the England team. Jimmy was typical Jimmy, taking crucial wickets throughout and India never were able to get going.

This has resulted in a fantastically poised series with the Oval starting on the 2nd September.

2nd Test Match England v India – India won by 151 runs

The first three days at Lord’s were closely fought and both teams batted well in their respective 1st innings. Opening batsman Kannaur Rahul was the star of the show, scoring a classy 129 runs alongside Rohit Sharma to put India in a formidable position. The strong opening partnership was finally broken by Jimmy Anderson, who ended with a five-for at the end of another consistent performance. Batting contributions from Kohli, Pant and Jadeja left India on 364 well into Day 2.

Who else but captain Joe Root to lead England to a small 1st innings lead with a brilliant knock of 180. His performance was outstanding, evident by his impressive strike rate of 56.07. Jonny Bairstow and opener Rory Burns pushed England along and by the end of Day 3 it was still anyone’s match, although the possibility of another series was draw was hovering in the darker crowds.

Tactically India outclassed England in the second innings and the England bowling attack made some indifferent decisions when trying to bowl India out to give them a chance of the win. The tailenders of Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah were outstanding in forcing India into a winning position that looked very unlikely at the start of the day. Their combined 90 not out took India to 298 as Kohli declared with 60 or so overs to go on Day 5 to allow their fierce bowling attack to throw the kitchen sink at England.

You don’t see it often and it couldn’t have come at a worse time as both England openers were out for ducks in 8 balls between them. Bumrah and Shami did the damage and immediately England were on the back foot and India smelt blood. Hameed went for 9, Bairstow 2 and a small 33 run cameo from Root didn’t mask a terrible opening couple of hours which bought the Indian crowd at Lord’s to mass celebrations.

Jos Buttler in at 6 had a clear job to do and that was to try and hold the England team to a draw. His 25 off 96 was as defensive as an opener in T20 format could be, but with around 22 overs of play left, Siraj made the breakthrough. Sam Curran followed one ball later and on a hat trick, Siraj faced up Ollie Robinson who survived. As the pressure continued to build, India knew they needed just one more significant breakthrough to get into the tailenders and Bumrah’s LBW dismissal of Ollie Robinson did just that. Buttler and Anderson followed and India celebrated an unbelievable end to an unbelievable test match.

England will look back at this test match with huge regret and a lot of questions will be asked about how this one got away. Changes are likely to be made for the third match at Headingley as the home side will be desperately searching to find a solution and recover the test series.

1st Test Match England v India – Match Drawn

The test match was beautifully poised going into Day 5 at Trent Bridge as India had the full day to make 157 with 9 wickets in hand to win the first match of the series. Root’s standout score of 64 took India to 183, with India responding with 278. Just like the second match Rahul top scored with 84 and it has been clear to see the in-form players from both teams, especially with the bat.

Ollie Robinson got his first England five-for, supported by Anderson who notched up another four wickets to add to his ridiculous test wicket taking record. Down 95, England upped their game in the second innings as (guess who) Joe Root made a century to drive England to a score of 303. Bumrah stepped up for India with the ball, taking five wickets himself including the increasingly important dismissal of Root.

As the end of day 4 concluded, India stuck 52 on the board and set themselves up perfectly to see out the game in a controlled manor. The weather was teasing the teams for a conclusion as showers continued to come and go and offer hope for the two cricket mad nations but by 3.49pm the game was officially declared drawn.

England v India Lords Test 2021

England Cricket in 2022

We’re already preparing for England’s 2022 cricket matches and you should too! Register your interest on the products that we have and we’ll give you a call to discuss availability and price. With South Africa, India and New Zealand all making their way to England, it’s set to be another incredible summer of cricket and our facilities at Lord’s, The Oval and around the country will be full of fans.