Cricket Season 2017-18 in Full Swing

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Ashes: England or Australia - who will win? Pundits make their predictions

Australia, who whitewashed the tourists 5-0 when England last toured down under in 2013-14, are clear favourites to win, but England have triumphed in four of the past five series.

The Ashes get under way in Brisbane on Thursday, with England looking to defend the urn they won on home soil in 2015.

Test Match Special commentators, cricket journalists and pundits give their views on what will happen this time around.

England have to find a way to resist Australia in the first Test. If they can get out of it with even a draw, they are in the fight for longer and they can get to Adelaide's well-grassed pitch. Still, their batting is so light that the Australia pace attack will make a mess of them. That doesn't mean that Australia's batting is without problems, but I think the home side are more likely to get wickets, faster.

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Australia's bowling attack is better suited to these conditions. In Mitchell Starc they have the best left-arm swing bowler in the world, Josh Hazlewood is the most accurate in the world and Pat Cummins is the fastest. Steve Smith and David Warner will score enough runs to make up for deficiencies elsewhere. England's top five is weak and over-reliant on Joe Root. They have a stronger middle order, but that is the only area where they have the edge



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