Playing at home making the difference in the Ashes

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The change seems unprecedented, yet we should have seen it all along. England’s 3-1 victory in the 2015 series is the eighth time in the last ten series in which the home side has won.

It seems if you’re at home you should win, if you’re away, good luck.

Australia haven’t won in England since 2001, 14 years of pain in England which didn’t seem destined to end at many points this summer. In a bizarre twist though, in the last fourteen series half of the series were won by the touring side.


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Why is this happening?

Does this reflect a lack of ability in new age players? Is it an inability to adapt to conditions other than their own?

Australian batsmen aren’t able to adapt to swinging conditions and their bowlers cannot make the ball talk like England’s swingers.

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Moreover, English batsmen get minimal practise in the bouncy conditions they specialise in down under, and the Kookaburra ball doesn’t assist the English bowlers anything like the Duke cherry used here.

Playing on home turf

There are some serious advantages to the home team even before a ball has been bowled, with pitches being prepared to the exact specifications of the home side. The lack of variation from one ground to another means that home advantage is becoming almost too much of a factor.

Formerly, pitches would vary drastically from ground to ground as fewer ground staff were employed and they were less skilled. This means home teams have an even greater advantage than they have done in the past.

Spot the difference

The BBC asked Graeme Swann for his opinion "For me it is quite simple," he was part of the only Ashes team in those 14 years to win an away series. "In England the wickets are getting slower so the batsmen are not being exposed to fast bouncy wickets. When they go to Australia it is a culture shock. They can't deal with these guys with raw pace on fast, bouncy wickets.

"Then, when you come to England and the ball still swings, even the visiting batsmen that play county cricket don't face the highly skilled swing bowling they do in Tests. Batsmen don't like the ball moving laterally through the air. It is bad enough when it is jagging about off the pitch.

"The Aussies come here and nick everything. We go there and get bumped out. That is it in a nutshell."

Tours exist to make money

Tours are now getting shorter and shorter, to accommodate the needs of players and to make the maximum amount of money in the shortest amount of time.

This summer, Australia began with just two three-day matches, against Kent and Essex sides which were considerably weakened from the County Championship sides.

Once the Tests began, just a fortnight after their arrival, they then had only one more three-day match before the series was decided at Trent Bridge last week.

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England cricket
Australia cricket
The Ashes

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