Former skipper Nasser Hussain reveals the player he expects to fire England to a dramatic Ashes series victory over Australia and make the biggest statement yet with their fresh brand of ‘Bazball’.
Hussain has backed England to reclaim the Ashes from Australia as they ride a wave of momentum since Ben Stokes took the reins as captain of the Test team.
England have not won the Ashes since a 3-2 home series victory in 2015, as Australia dominated whenever hosts since then with 4-0 scorelines in both 2017/18 and 2021/22.
Australia also retained the urn when touring England in 2019, as the five-match series was drawn
2-2 after the hosts claimed the last Test at The Oval to level the result, the ICC reported.
But England have stunned opponents over the past year with a thrilling brand of red-ball cricket – known as ‘Bazball’ – since coming under the guidance of Stokes and head coach Brendon
“I can’t see many draws simply because of the way England are playing, they’re trying to take the draw out of the equation,” Hussain told The ICC Review.
“Australia in Australia, England have got hammered. Australia in England, Australia haven’t won
here, won an Ashes series since 2001, but they’ve always been close,” he said.
“I’m going to go 3-2 to England,” Hussain said.
The England batters have scored rapidly to light up the Tests during the white-hot streak but their bowlers will be just as pivotal in the clash with the traditional rivals in familiar conditions.
England are sweating on the fitness of key weapons in their pace attack with James Anderson and Ollie Robinson missing the recent one-off Test against Ireland, while Jofra Archer and Olly Stone have ongoing injury concerns.
The evergreen Anderson is No.2 in the ICC MRF Tyres Men’s Test Bowling Rankings, but Hussain believes this Ashes series will be the moment Robinson truly steps out his shadow as leading wicket-taker.
“If you look at any cricket Ollie Robinson has played, it has been phenomenal,” Hussain said.
“His County stats, his international stats, home, away, Dukes ball, Kookaburra ball. He just takes wickets for fun,” he said.
“If he’s fit, keep an eye on Ollie Robinson. He has really burst on the scene. Doesn’t go for many runs, is accurate and bowls a good length for England,” Hussain said.
Robinson has already looked to take up the mantle of bold Ashes series predictions from Australia great Glenn McGrath.
The England pacer declared in March that “we can really stick one on them and win the series comfortably” but Hussain doubts his former camp is getting too far ahead of themselves.
“It’s just part of the build-up,” Hussain said.
“The battle doesn’t start until that first ball goes down really,” he said.
“Predictions and banter, and to and fro chat… you may talk the talk, but make sure you go out
there and walk the walk is basically the principle in Ashes battle,” Hussain added.
First Test: June 16 – June 20, Edgbaston
Second Test: June 28 – July 2, Lord’s
Third Test: July 6 – July 10, Headingley
Fourth Test: July 19 – July 23, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: July 27 – July 31, The Oval.