The much anticipated First Ashes Test is almost upon us. It is panning out to be a genuine contest, a rarity in recent Ashes Tests.
The beauty of this Ashes campaign is the level of confidence displayed by the poms. They're a cocky lot this current team, unlike the timid and divided mobs that they have hobbled together to face the Aussies in the past four series'. Michael Vaughn, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Marcus Trescothick et al fancy themselves against Ricky Pontings World Champions. Afterall, they did beat the might of Bangadesh in a two game series....
We'll see. But surely, pound for pound, player for player, the Aussie line up looks the better of the two?
It's interesting how the Ashes stir up the Australian "colonial inferiority complex" against England. We always feel like the underdog against the Mother Country. That's why beating England (at anything) is a big deal. And beat England is something we do with almost boring regularity. We have continually thrashed England at cricket since 1989, but we don't pity them or will them on towards putting up a contest. A perfect Ashes series is Australia 5-0, every game won inside four days. Contest, bah! Let's see Warne bowl six "Gatting Balls" every over.
So here's hoping that the Aussies will win, and prick the balloon of this British buoyancy.