Cricket

England is not at its best for the Ashes, according to Atherton.

England picked their strongest possible team on Sunday, omitting allrounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran, but including paceman Stuart Broad despite a calf injury.

England will not take their greatest test team to Australia for the five-match Ashes series, but apart from the pace bowlers, the hosts are a non-threatening side, according to former England captain Michael Atherton.

England picked their strongest possible team on Sunday, omitting allrounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran, but including paceman Stuart Broad despite a calf injury.

Stokes was unable to play because he is on an indefinite vacation from cricket in order to focus on his mental health, as well as recovering from a second operation on a fractured finger. Due to a stress fracture in his lower back, Curran was unable to participate.

Jofra Archer, a fast bowler, was unavailable due to a recurrence of a stress fracture in his elbow.

In his editorial for The Times, Atherton stated, “It’s not the strongest group England has carried to Australia – nor is it the weakest.” “Australia may be classified in the same way, powerful in bowling but not so much in batting.

“Any misgivings about England’s chances are tempered to some extent by doubts in Australia’s camp, where much hinges on Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne’s form, as well as the fitness of the top three fast bowlers: Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, and Mitchell Starc.”

The series kicks off on December 8 in Brisbane, with Australia playing their first test match since losing to India in January.

“Who knows what level of preparation Australia’s players will have because they haven’t played test cricket since losing at home to a second-string India team nine months ago,” Atherton added.

“Since then, there have been rumblings about the coach, Justin Langer, and David Warner’s position will be called into question if he has a disastrous start. The threat dissipates as you get beyond the main bowlers.”

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