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Dean Wilson: Time to be poor hosts

07 Jul | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Dean Wilson: Time to be poor hosts

England must use home advantage to the maximum to beat the Aussies

There are certain things that are a given for the English.

A proper cup of tea, an umbrella just in case, a decent foamy pint, Wimbledon, and a nice warm welcome for guests.

It is the done thing.

We take hosting seriously and we want to make sure any visitors want to come back again and again. But not this time.

As Australia go in search of their first Ashes win on English soil for 14 years, our cricket team and their fans need to make life as uncomfortable and as unwelcoming as possible for the Australians. It is essential that they push home advantage to the absolute maximum, because anything less will give an exceptional team like Australia the edge.

There is little either side can do about the weather, but England must make the most of it when it is in their favour. Cardiff has done a fine job already by sending down some chilly light drizzle to kick things off, but England must capitalise.

That means keeping the Aussies in the field for long periods when the conditions are at their harshest. Cold fingers are an occupational hazard for an English cricketer, not for most opponents.

The swinging dukes ball has caused many a problem for Australian bowlers down the years, while there is no better exponent of the craft than Jimmy Anderson who should be licking his lips at the prospect. Sadly though England have already given up one of their aces by not staging the first Test at Trent Bridge where the ball swings more than anywhere else.

They also gave up a bit of a gimme by not playing at Old Trafford at all where their recent record is so strong.

Could you imagine Australia giving up the Gabba for the start of their Ashes campaign? A place where they have not lost in 26 matches stretching back to 1988?! Of course not.

What makes the Gabba so intimidating to oppositions are the searing heat and the quick bouncy pitch. It is uniquely Australian in its make up. And then there is the crowd. The Queenslanders can be a rowdy lot and never more so than when there is a Pommie cricketer in their sights.

The ‘banter’ or abuse can be frightening at times.

So my advice for the Welsh public heading to the game. Pretend the Australian cricketers are English rugby players, that should do it. There will be all the usual bonhomie in Cardiff city centre post match, but within the confines of the Swalec Stadium, it has to be put on ice for the benefit of the England AND Wales cricket board.

As Mitchell Johnson said last week: “Who likes to be sledged all day by thousands of people?”

And then it is down to the cricket. Good, strong, positive cricket, the sort of which will enthuse the fans and cause the Australians to get out of their comfort zone. Too often Australia are the aggressors, calling the shots, dominating the game, declaring when they want and putting the pressure on the opposition.

It is where they feel most comfortable, it is how they believe the game should be played and they are not afraid to let you know about it. As long as England can stop them from getting up a head of steam, and make some of the running themselves, that is where they will find most joy.

And they must use their home comforts as much as possible to do so.

Series odds:

7/2 – England

4/11 – Australia

8/1 – The Draw

All Ashes betting