photo courtesy of John Garghan
It's almost Ashes time, and Aussies, understandably, will have high hopes of enjoying another series of Pom-bashing, following Australia's terrific Cricket World Cup triumph on home soil and England's entertaining recent troubles.
Kevin Pietersen has been somewhat the scourge of Australia in the past, but has certainly done all he can in the last couple of years to destroy any team harmony in the England camp, after they were momentarily on top of the world. Their performances in all forms of the game has certainly hindered their beliefs and confidence, after their dismal showing at the World Cup and slip-ups in Test series' to let a depleted West Indies and New Zealand claim draws.
However, while it has been a joyous spectacle for Australians seeing England's dramatic decline and the Baggy Greens' remarkable rise, since the former won 3-0 in the 2013 Ashes, Aussies may not get it all their way his summer. For those of you living in London, it might be an idea to remind yourselves that Australia have lost the last three Ashes series on English soil. Fans, therefore, will need to be especially careful of not getting too carried away, particularly when the second and last Tests at Lord's and The Oval respectively take place in the capital.
Despite the Baggy Greens being odds-on series favourites with all UK bookies, it seems England are gradually beginning to show signs of improvement leading up to their bid to reclaim the world's most famous sporting urn.
At one stage, it looked as if captain Alastair Cook may never regain the form that led him to be hailed by many as one of the greatest batsmen of his generation, but England's highest ever Test scorer has literally hit back. Cook's 26th and 27th centuries, against the Windies and then Kiwis, in the longest form of the international game may have taken two years to find, but they have come at an important time.
On top of that, they say 'a strong Yorkshire is a strong England', and the famous cricketing county recently won their domestic league last season. The Poms will have the likes of rising Yorkie stars Joe Root, whose talent seemingly has no limit, Gary Ballance and opener Adam Lyth, who recently got his debut century at his home Headingley ground against the Black Caps.
England are certainly in the process of rebuilding, much like Australia were after many of their golden generation retired and, if that were not enough, they have even gone and poached one of our own to be their head coach.
New South Wales-born Trevor Bayliss may not have much pedigree on the international stage, although he did lead Sri Lanka to the 2011 World Cup final, but boasts a brilliant record in the Big Bash and IPL club leagues.
So, it might be an idea Aussie fans for now to keep grounded and hold in any urges of being too openly hasty of letting your new London neighbours know who will win. Keep party preparations on hold, until the possible decisive Test on August 20th, and then of course go wild if the Ashes urn is successfully defended.