Following England's series victory on home soil earlier this year, anticipation is high for the return bout. Both sides, however, are plagued by injuries and uncertainty, with many questions still to be answered in the days leading into the First Test.
Australia is sweating on the fitness of No. 3 batsmen and medium-pace bowler Shane Watson. Watson, battling a hamstring strain, is a key cog in the batting line-up of Australia and will be sorely missed should he not play. Watson brings both stability and experience to a batting line-up that is, at the moment, devoid of both those things.
On the upside, some of the key Australian batsmen look to be hitting form at the right time. Openers Chris Rogers and David Warner both hit impressive centuries for Victoria and NSW respectively, while NSW all-rounder Steve Smith also compiled a ton. George Bailey, the man most likely to slot in at No.6, has also been in explosive form, hitting 478 runs on the recent ODI tour of India.
Peter Siddle and Ryan Harris are likely to lead the attack, with Mitchell Johnson and potentially Ben Hilfenhaus to join them. Australia will be hoping all four of them can stay fit and firing throughout the summer as they have a large contingent of their pace battery on the injury list, with James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Jackson Bird and Josh Hazlewood all sidelined.
Nathan Lyon appears to have held off a challenge from Fawad Ahmed to lock down the spinner's job.
Meanwhile, it hasn't been all smooth sailing for England either with limited game time and injuries hampering their preparations. Key pair Matt Prior and Kevin Pietersen are both carrying injuries and are in doubt for the first Test.
To add salt to the wound, their replacements, Johnny Bairstow and Gary Ballance, haven't been setting the world on fire with Ballance scoring 0 and 4 on the tour so far.
Having lost the past three Ashes series, Australia will be desperate for a series win against the Old Enemy, especially on home soil. Australia is a proud cricketing nation with a rich heritage, and whichever 11 players pull on the baggy green, no doubt they will do all they can to answer decisively the one question that matters; who will win?
The First Test of the Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on Thursday 21st of November.
Adam Schoenmaker is a pastor in in his local church in the northern suburbs of Brisbane. Adam loves a good book, a classic album and all Queensland sporting teams.
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