The most consummate rivalry in Test cricket between the traditional powerhouses Australia and England is all set to revive as Joe Root and his brigade go Down Under to play the Aussies in their own backyard.
The high voltage series begins with the first Test starting from November 23 at the GABBA in Brisbane. When it comes to cricketing rivalry perhaps the Ashes is hailed as the Mother of all Clashes.
England, who were whitewashed 5-0 on their last tour of Australia, are looking to defend the Ashes which they regained on home soil in 2015. There is no greater achievement in the cricketing career of an English or Australian cricketer other than being part of an victorious Ashes squad.
So let us have a look at England's 16 man Ashes squad and what are their strengths and weaknesses
The English batting shall be spearheaded by their leading run getter Alistair Cook and middle order lynch pin Joe Root.There is a chink in the armour of the English batting as they lack an experienced partner to open with the regular opener Alastair Cook.After trying out multiple they have settled for Mark Stoneman who is short on text experience.
The middle order shall be anchored by the Mr. consistent Joe Root who has the temperament and patience to hold the innings together and play the sheet anchors role.
Root has some good company in the form of Garry Ballance and Jonny Bairstow who both are making a comeback into the English squad. There is a freshness of air in the batting with attacking batsman Dawid Malan who can accelerate the scoring in the middle with some eye catching strokeplay.
Meanwhile James Vince with his classical and textbook style to batting may have earned many admirers but has been a touch too inconsistent. The batting shall be provided depth by the all rounders Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes.
England has a potent seam line up spearheaded by their 'King of Swing' James Anderson. Anderson would form a formidable seam attack with his seasoned partner Stuart Broad who can be handy on the bouncy tracks.
Despite the injury to Steven Finn, the Brits do have Jake Ball and Chris Woakes who can make the ball talk in handy seaming conditions. Rookie seamer Tom Curran would like to make an impression on his first Ashes tour.
In the absence of a quality spinner,off spinner Moeen Ali would resume his duty as a frontline tweaker and add variety to the seam attack. Uncapped Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane provides back-up for first-choice spinner Moeen Ali.
England Squad - Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Joe Root(c), Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Mason Crane, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton, Tom Curran