Wrong forum. :-)I'm taking the liberty of starting a thread for this
Can't wait for this series to begin. Both teams have strengths and weaknesses, and whichever side capitalises on those will win.
Selection doubts for both sides - neither team have their batting order sorted. I can't believe Root can justify not moving up to three, but then Steve Smith plays lower down as well. There's still at least one, if not more, batting places to be decided for both teams.
Bowling-wise, Australia look formidable. The loss of Pattinson must hurt, as that would have completed the quartet, along with Starc, Cummins and Hazlewood. Lyons has quietly developed into a formidable spinner and I think you have to give credit to anyone who tries to follow on from Shane Warne.
I really like England's bowling attack but a lot depends on how Broad and Woakes adapt at the Gabba and later at the WACA. I suspect Anderson will find the most at the MCG and SCG, but the series will be three matches down by then.
I'm not the type to do predictions, don't do it in football and cricket is even harder but I will go for this - and welcome anyone else's views!
First Test - Australia
Second Test - England
Third Test - England
Fourth Test - Australia
Fifth Test - Australia
No draws, I think the emergence of T20 has made definitive results more likely, though it would be a shame if we lost the classic Test draw - there's been some beauties down the year.
My dodgiest prediction IMO is Perth - I think England will bounce back from a doing at the Gabba and do the business in Adelaide. It's a pitch that maybe suits them. When it comes to the WACA, it's easy to see how they might be skittled by Starc and Cummins but also easy to see Broad and Anderson having fun.
When they go back to the east coast I can't see the Aussies dropping games.
My side-bets are Australia 5-0 and England 3-1, and it's a joy to say it's that sort of series - anything could happen!
England will miss Stokes if he doesn't make it. If it's confirmed he's not there then I'll bump up my bet on the Aussies and if he is there I'll bump up my bet on England.
Bring it on