Buckle up: liberated England face ultimate test against greatest rivals

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‘Bazball’ has been a revelation, but this is the moment of truth: an impossible-to-call Ashes series against a well-oiled Australia

Even by the lofty standards of the Ashes and cricket’s most storied rivalry, anticipation over these past few days has reached a level approaching critical mass. During a sun-drenched buildup at Edgbaston, as players prepped, bar staff loaded up the store rooms like missile silos, and mowers buzzed around the outfield, there has been an abundance of knowing looks and instant smiles, every interaction swiftly followed by theories and predictions. The stage is finally set, the pyrotechnics locked and loaded, and all we need now is that initial spark.

It comes at 11am on Friday morning when, in front of 25,000 spectators, and hopefully millions watching and listening at home and overseas, the first cherry-ripe ball is sent down – a moment which itself has become part of the 146-year legend. In the past they have sailed past off-stump, flown gallingly wide to second slip, whistled to the rope or clattered into the timber; often it means little, sometimes it sets the tone.

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Written by Ali Martin
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2023/jun/15/cricket-england-australia-ashes-ultimate-test-greatest-rivals under the title “Buckle up: liberated England face ultimate test against greatest rivals”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.