Who needs Jim, Gus and Mick when there are cricket bloggers, right? For us keyboard warriors, picking the Ashes’ winning side is as easy as pie. All you need are good hitters, a balanced offense that covers all bases, and, um, a little luck. That luck has unexpectedly kept Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins in the park over the past two months.

Australia’s England in 2019 will be a tough team to beat, especially if they can get back to speed, so England must fight fire with fire. That means getting some new bowlers to bleed for pace and aggression, as well as regular boys who can take advantage of England’s facilities. Oh, and we need a decent spinner too!

Thankfully, Australia’s batsmen (unless they find new talent) will be more vulnerable when they come to England. People like Bancroft, Khawaja, Handscomb, Marshes and even Steve Smith may find it harder to move the ball. So, in theory, England should top the batting department – as long as they pick the right players.

With that in mind, I’d do the picker’s job for them, picking an XI that’s sure to win at every position ready. And I don’t even have to be a full-time district director of cricket to do it.

1. Alastair Cook – Of course he will play. He’s made of iron, you fool.

2. Haseeb Hameed – Nick Gubbins got preference because I prefer a right/left combination up front. Great potential, able to deepen over a long period of time.

3. Joe Root – I’m less comfortable with the 3 year old alternative, but I’m (finally) more confident with the 4 and 5 year old alternatives; so it’s time for Joe to step up.

4. Dawid Malan – When Malan steps in, he can be a calm presence at 4. Think of him as a cross between a Goyle and a Thorpe… no pressure, Davide.

5. Liam Livingstone – It hurts to leave Joe Clarke out because I think he’s special, but Livingstone has an irresistible pugnacious air. He’s also a bit more mature than Clarke and is the development lead.

6. Ben Stokes – Ben Solo is expected to be at his best next year…unless he has other problems. Provides the X-factor we’ve been missing this winter.

7. Jonny Bairstow — He’s too good to hit a 7, but I like the right-left-right-left variation in the middle order. Watch as Starc’s radar goes out of control.

8. Dom Bess – He’s the all-around replacement for Moeen Ali. The key difference is that Beth’s bowling has more potential than his batting. He’s a real weirdo.

9. Olly Stone – You want speed and aggression? Well, Stone packs a punch. His recent injury (knee) worries me more than Tom Helm’s stress fracture. A few years ago he was doing well for the England U19s and he was the fastest and best fast bowler we had.

10. Josh Tongue – You want speed and aggression? Well, eat a few more! Tongue will be young next summer, but he’s a very good pick and I hope he develops quickly. If he fills, he will be in the minority.

11. Jimmy Anderson – Think of him as Mr. Miyagi gently combing Stone and Tongue while whispering “break the batter’s arm” in their ears.

So there you have it. A seductive fusion of youth and experience. Batting will revolve around five senior campaigners from Cook, Root, Malan, Stokes and Bairstow. Two young men, Lawrence and Livingstone, ensured patience and enthusiasm. It’s an exciting lineup that isn’t particularly risky, either.

Bowling also incorporates experience, guile and aggression. Anderson and Stokes added experience and momentum, while two ripping quicks threw short, sharp spells like Pat Cummins. However, if conditions are typically British and the pitch is a little green, one of the young Tyros could make way for Jamie Potter, Sam Curran or Toby Rowland Jones. If the surface is dry, you can give way to the Mason Crane.

So what do you think? Personally, I don’t think it’s possible for Australia to win a Test. We’ll win quickly with a 5-0 win that will end some of Australia’s careers and give the whole team a Jazz title. what can go wrong.

By x59ok

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