3 new Australian faces England must be wary of this Ashes


As the third Ashes series in the past two years draws closer, England’s need for in-depth analytical team meetings to discuss the opposition aren’t likely.

Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Johnson all return to redraw the battle lines, but there are a couple of newer faces that Alastair Cook and his men should underestimate at their peril.

While it’s unlikely that Peter Nevill will take the gloves from Ashes veteran Brad Haddin, these three potential key cogs do need a dose of attention:

Josh Hazlewood – 4/1 to be Australia’s top series wicket taker

The New South Wales bowler compiled quite the case for Ashes inclusion on the recent tour of West Indies, where he took 12 wickets at an average of just 8.83.

That makes it 24 Test wickets in just five games for the 24-year-old, whose 1st-Test cause is dealt no harm by his ability with the bat. He scored 63 runs in two knocks against the Windies and was batting at 10 and Jack both times.

Adam Voges – 8/1 to be Australia’s top series run scorer

In the same way that overlooking his advanced years to pick Chris Rogers for the 2013 Ashes was a shrewd move, handing Voges at Test debut at the age of 35 also makes sense.

The Perth batsman showed his maturity to compile a superb debut ton in the Caribbean and has a wealth of experience in county cricket to bolster a batting lineup that tends to be a little uncomfortable in English conditions.

Shaun Marsh – 9/2 to be Australia’s 1st Test top run scorer

Rogers and Marsh were in a straight duel to partner David Warner at the top of the order heading into the tour match against Kent, during which the Western Australian went ahead on points thanks to a knock of 114.

A feast-or-famine player, Marsh is just as capable of scoring devastating centuries as he is to string a procession of low scores together, but the fact he enters the series in form should be a warning sign for England.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.