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Australian Cricket: Aussie batters hitting form

The Ashes series gets underway at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 16th June and the excitement is starting to build.

Australia hold the Ashes after dominating England in 2021 when winning the series 4-0, but it should be a lot closer this time. 

There are high hopes in England that the Ashes could be heading their way, but there is very little to separate the two sides. 

It is all set up to be an exciting Ashes series that could go either way. What happens over the next few weeks ahead of the opening Test is also crucial. 

Injuries could strike, players will be out to stake a claim for a starting spot and of course the English weather will no doubt have a say. 

The excitement is starting to reach fever pitch and there is plenty of news coming out of both camps, so let’s take a look at the very latest.

Aussie batsmen hitting top form

WhatEngland v Australia
WhereEdgbaston, Birmingham
When16th to 21st June, 2023
How to watchKayo, Foxtel
OddsEngland 2.10, Draw 6.00, Australia 2.40

It is a very good sign for the Australians that some of their leading batsmen are starting to hit top form while playing English county cricket. 

The reason for linking up with county sides is to help players get used to the English conditions, and if the latest scores are anything to go by, it is working. 

Marnus Labuschagne continues to shine while playing for Glamorgan and the Australian camp would have been delighted with his superb 138 against Sussex. 

The knock came off 244 deliveries and included 16 fours and four sixes as Glamorgan fought back against Steve Smith’s Sussex. 

Smith also caught the eye with 89 runs off 183 balls in the first innings and Sussex could need something similar if they are to claw their way back into the game. 

Marcus Harris is another player staking his claim for a place in the Australian starting side. 

The opener has chipped in with a couple of impressive half-centuries while playing for Gloucestershire. 

With his back against the wall, Harris chipped in with 52 in the first innings, and then finished day three against Durham on 71 not-out. 

Australia are priced at 1.72 to retain the Ashes, and it goes without saying their batsmen will be key throughout the series.

Robinson worry for England 

England are sweating on the fitness of in-form fast bowler Ollie Robinson after he picked up an ankle injury playing for Sussex. 

Robinson dismissed Labuschagne for just one run in the first innings of their clash with Glamorgan and then went on to take another three wickets to finish with figures of 4-29. 

However on Saturday, Robinson did not look as sharp during an eight-over stint in the morning and did not re-appear after the lunch break. 

That will have set alarming bells sounding among the England camp, and Sussex coach Paul Farbrace did little to ease those fears. 

He confirmed that the fast bowler has a sore ankle and will require scans on Monday to discover the full extent of the damage. 

England, who are priced at 2.10 to win the Ashes, will now be keeping everything crossed and hoping the injury is not serious. 

Anderson in fitness race 

Talking of English fast bowlers, James Anderson also remains in a fitness race to face Australia in the first Test. 

Anderson picked up a groin injury while playing county cricket for Lancashire and is set to sit out their opening Test of the summer against Ireland. 

Scans have ruled out serious damage, and although Anderson could probably face Ireland, they will not be taking any risks. 

Anderson missed out in 2019, the last time Australia toured, and he does not want to miss out again. That series was drawn and the same outcome in 2023 is available at 6.50

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