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23 Nov 2017

Can England retain the famous urn?

Who will win the Ashes 2017?

The fiercest rivalry in cricket, Australia vs England in the Ashes is underway in Brisbane's famous Gabba.

England are looking to defend the famous urn that they claimed on their home soil in 2015, while Steve Smith and his men are in search of redemption.

So who do you think will claim the Ashes this year? Here is our take.

In context

Who will win the Ashes 2017?
Closely fought contest

Australia favourites

Closely fought contest

The last time England were in Australia, they were whitewashed 5-0.

However, this time around it is not going to be that easy. Home advantage makes Australia the clear favourites.

England have won in Australia only once in their last 7 tours.

Having said that, we must admit that this is not the best team that Australia have had over the years.

Deadly pace

What makes Australia the favourites?

In Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins Australia have a trio of world-class pace attack. Throw Nathan Lyon in the mix and you have a captain's dream attack.

Starc's lightning pace and Hazelwood's consistency will be key and these bowlers are much more dangerous in home conditions.

The trick, however, will be keeping them fit.

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A win at Gabba could turn the tide for England

Gabba the fortress

A win at Gabba could turn the tide for England

The Gabba is no ordinary ground. It has been Australia's stronghold over the decades. That's why they start their season in the heat of Brisbane.

The Gabba was last conquered in 1988 by Viv Richards-led West Indies.

As for England, the last time they won there was in 1986, since then they have played 7 Tests, losing five and drawing two.

Stokes factor

England's loss is Australia's gain

The absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes is a huge loss for the visitors.

The 26-year-old has been temporarily suspended by the ECB for his alleged involvement in a street brawl.

For a man who has 95 wickets in Test cricket and clocks speeds of 140 kmph and averages a stunning 35.72 with the bat, Stokes will be definitely missed.

England are heavily reliant on their old guard

Ageing squad

England are heavily reliant on their old guard

There is no doubt about Jimmy Anderson's talent, after all he is the number one Test bowler in the world.

But questions will be raised if the 35-year-old fails to bowl lengthy spells in the scorching heat down under.

With no Stokes, England are heavily reliant on Broad and Anderson.

England's batting fares a lot better but the seniors will have to step up.

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