2009 ASHES TEST CRICKET SERIES PREVIEW Follow me on Twitter for 'as it happens' reaction.
In less than six hours the 2009 Ashes Test Cricket Series will begin with Australia playing England... in Wales. Australia are yet to name their starting 11 but England are expected to play two spinners on the Cardiff deck which has been rumoured for weeks to be a turner. Brett Lee is out of the first two Tests with a side strain but that may work to Australia's advantage if they play swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus who was a key component in the Australian victory in South Africa with the new ball. The likely teams for the FIRST TEST: AUSTRALIA: Simon KATICH, Phillip HUGHES, Ricky PONTING (c), Michael HUSSEY, Michael CLARKE, Marcus NORTH, Brad HADDIN, Mitchell JOHNSON, Stuart CLARK, Peter SIDDLE, Ben HILFENHAUS/Nathan HAURITZ/Andrew McDONALD (12th Man to be named). ENGLAND: Andrew STRAUSS (c), Alistair COOK, Ravi BOPARA, Kevin PIETERSEN, Paul COLLINGWOOD, Andrew FLINTOFF, Matt PRIOR, Stuart BROAD, Graeme SWANN, James ANDERSON, Monty PANESAR. 12th Man: Graeme ONIONS. Below is a Full Ashes Preview with predictions for the First Test and the Series - plus insight into the critical factors that will decide the 2009 Series. Keep checking www.wdnicolson.blogspot.com during the Series for regular recap videos and questions surrounding the day's play. The first question is online already on the wdnicolson.blogspot.com front page. So check it out! Bring on the Poms!