The "Ashes" has been the signature event of world cricket since its introduction in 1882 and the passions created on the hallowed turf at Lords still resonates some 130 years on between both nations.
In recent years there has been some great Test Matches, including the last session victory on the fifth day of the final test in the 2005 series by the Poms. Also there was the "amazing" Adelaide test where Shane Warne and Ricky Ponting wound back the clock to give Australia one of the most unlikely victories ever seen in Test Match history.
Ponting's recent words serves as a reminder to the English cricketers that they really only compete for the Ashes every four years, even thought the two sides compete on a Bi-annual basis . The English side repeatedly crumbles on the Australian continent. The harder firmer pitches that can actually hold up for five days of cricket is not what they are used to back in mother England. The English have only managed a meagre three Test Match victories in Australia in their past thirty five outings. It's really an obvious statement to say they do not like competing on the more even pitches available on Australian soil.
England's victories in England have been generally revolved around swing and reverse swing bowling. This style of bowling is its strength in the drizzly wet conditions of an English summer. However it does not generally convert to the Australian hard summer pitches. England's lack of an all-round game over the past twenty years has really been made apparent in there somewhat embarrassing trips to Australia.
Although I will not name names, I think we are all aware of how many promising English cricket careers have been halted by a summer tour of Australia. Also the list of English Captains who have lost the captaincy mid way through or concluding an Australian tour really reads like a who's who of English cricket through the ages.
So will there be a difference in the 2010-2011 series? The recipe looks similar to the disasters of years gone by. A new up and coming pace bowler they compare to past greats after playing three test matches. A veteran batsman recalled to the side to strengthen the order. A captain downplaying the pressure combined with the expectation of the English press and the Barmy Army.
Although Australia is not the freakish side it once was without the likes of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. They still have a number of weapons ready and willing to remind the English of their standing on Australian soil.