Australia might have retained the Ashes, but the England response in the final Test this summer was a promising one.
Hopes among English fans remain high that England might be able to reclaim the urn during the 2021/22 series when the two sides meet Down Under.
However, no one should be deceived into believing that this summer’s 2-2 scoreline means that England matched the quality of Australia.
The Aussies came out on top in most of the decisive moments throughout the series, and in light of that, few would argue that their Ashes defence was undeserved.
But fear not, England fans. The Independent have already selected a squad of lucky lads who might be able to defeat those Baggy Greens on their home turf in the next Ashes series.
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Let’s start with the bowling attack. Jofra Archer will again assume a crucial role as England’s top fast bowler, while the flight and dip achieved by spinner Jack Leach this summer hints at even greater things for the near future.
And even at 35 and 39 respectively, it will be tough in 2021 to resist including either Stuart Broad or James Anderson to find more consistent bowlers within the England ranks.
In the batting order, captain Joe Root remains world-class. Currently experiencing a dip in form, England’s success in Australia will depend on whether Root can re-find the talent that fans know lies within him.
All being well, Rory Burns and Ollie Pope should be stalwart England batsmen by 2021. The pair share resilience and the ability to graft in tough conditions, and have the potential to cement regular spots in the side soon.
Sensibly, those wise folks at The Independent consider simple, uncomplicated technique to be the key to England victory Down Under in 2021/22.
They use that to justify the inclusion of sharp wicketkeeper Ben Foakes and youngster Zak Crawley, who demonstrate those qualities in their bowling, batting and fielding.
By 2021, late developer Hasan Azad and injury-prone Olly Stone will be even hungrier to prove themselves in Australia, while the form of all-rounder Ben Stokes could make or break England’s success.
Let’s hope that this talented bunch stay fit and fulfil their potential by 2021. We’re coming for you Aussies!
Here's the team in full:
1. Rory Burns
2. Zak Crawley
3. Hasan Azad
4. Joe Root
5. Ben Stokes
6. Ollie Pope
7. Ben Foakes
8. Jofra Archer
9. Olly Stone
10. Jack Leach
11. Stuart Broad OR James Anderson