The Ashes 2013: England's key men
An in-depth look at who is likely to step up as England bid to make it a back-to-back Ashes success
England are overwhelming favourites to win the Ashes this summer, but if they are to achieve what many are calling a formality, just how are they going to do it? And which England players will come to the fore?
Here, we look at the key personnel who will be looking to make it back-to-back Ashes success. Do you agree? Have your say in the comments box below!
1. Alistair Cook
A fine batsman who in the past few years has proved that he can deliver top scores against any opposition. With a great backfoot game, the Australians will have to pitch it up to trouble Cook. His captaining has improved and the Ashes may see him come closer to new records.
2. Joe Root
Newly-appointed number two, some see this as too much responsibility for an inexperienced England player. However, in recent tours - in particular against New Zealand - Root has proven his worth with many seeing him as the best young player England have had for years. Root can also be useful in the bowling attack on turning pitches.
3. Jonathon Trott
A slow scorer at times, but exactly the kind of player needed to settle down the innings if an early wicket is lost. His concentration is a key factor in his success.
4. Kevin Pietersen
This man has a lot of firepower, he can score runs all over the wicket and at a quick pace, despite having a tendency to get out cheaply. KP loves the challenge of the Australian bowling attack which this year may prove very volatile.
5. Ian Bell
An excellent fielder as well as a player who can provide much needed stability in the middle order. His perfect technique is a joy to watch and we may see him rediscover some form in the Ashes.
6. Jonny Bairstow
Much like Bell, Bairstow at times can play outstanding cricket shots, however with players such as Compton and Morgan breathing down his neck, Bairstow will need to perform first up.
7. Matt Prior
A much improved wicket keeper batsmen who has continually scored runs for fun with England. He has shown he can score quick runs against any opposition.
8. Stuart Broad
On his day, Broad can take wickets and get runs. However, he can sometimes let his emotions get the better of him - something he will have to avoid in this series.
9. Graeme Swann
Arguably the best spinner in the world, Swann can turn the ball sideways on some pitches. His recent injury against Essex hopefully won't hinder his involvement in the series. Can also provide useful runs.
10. Steven Finn
Finn's height is often used to his advantage, and has an outstanding number of wickets even when he is not bowling that well.
11. James Anderson
Anderson is one of the world's best bowlers - his swing and bounce is likely to cause huge problems for the Australian batsmen.
12. Tim Bresnan
Bresnan can easily step up, were there to be any injuries. A bustling bowler like him can take wickets and he has shown he can score runs as well, as seen against Essex in a warm-up match.
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