Aussies defend proud unbeaten Gabba run
THE GABBA, BRISBANE November 23-27, 2017
Australia’s record since 2000: P17 W13 D4 L0
England’s record since 2000 - 2002-03: Lost by 384 runs; 2006-07: Lost by 277 runs; 2010-11: Draw; 2013-14: Lost by 381 runs
Viv Richards’s great West Indies side were the last visiting team to win a Test match at the Gabba in 1988 and three of England’s last four Brisbane Tests have ended in heavy defeats.
Alastair Cook’s unbeaten 235 in the second innings earned them a draw on the 2010-11 and Australia’s bowlers were made to toil for victory against Pakistan last year, eventually dismissing the tourists for 450 - just 39 runs short of a famous triumph.
Speedsters Dennis Lillee, Jeff Thomson, Brett Lee and Mitchell Johnson had excellent records at the Gabba while more recently Nathan Lyon’s off spin has accounted for 26 victims in six Tests.
ADELAIDE OVAL, ADELAIDE December 2-6, 2017 (Day/night Test)
Australia’s record since 2000: P17 W12 D3 L2
England’s record since 2000 - 2002-03: Lost by an innings & 51 runs; 2006-07: Lost by 6 wickets; 2010-11: Won by an innings & 71 runs; 2013-14: Lost by 218 runs
Batsman’s prayers are usually answered in the City of Churches where England infamously lost in 2006 after declaring their first innings on 551-6.
They made amends four years later, posting 620-5d on their way to an innings victory, but Australia’s next four first-innings totals in Adelaide were 604-7d, 550, 570-9d and 517-7d.
The recent day/night matches have redressed the balance between bat and ball - Josh Hazlewood took nine wickets as Australia won a tense, low-scoring clash with New Zealand in 2015 and last year’s tourists South Africa lost after modest scores of 259-9d and 250.
WACA, PERTH December 14-18, 2017
Australia’s record since 2000: P16 W9 D3 L4
England’s record since 2000 - 2002-03: Lost by an innings & 48 runs; 2006-07: Lost by 206 runs; 2010-11: Lost by 267 runs; 2013-14: Lost by 150 runs
England have lost their last seven Perth Tests but Australia haven’t had things all their own way in non-Ashes contests at the Gabba and South Africa racked up a hat-trick of wins in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Perth pitches are synonymous with pace bowling and Mitchell Starc (21 wickets in four Tests) is following in the footsteps of fellow fast men Johnson (45 in seven) and Lee (40 in eight).
Aggressive batsmen who like the ball coming on to the bat tend to relish the Waca, though - Ben Stokes scored England’s only century of the 2013-14 tour there and David Warner has a superb record, with 803 runs in nine innings at a strike-rate of almost 91.
MCG, MELBOURNE December 26-30, 2017
Australia’s record since 2000: P17 W14 D1 L2
England’s record since 2000 - 2002-03: Lost by five wickets; 2006-07: Lost by an innings & 99 runs; 2010-11: Won by an innings & 157 runs; 2013-14: Lost by eight wickets
England silenced the Boxing Day crowd in 2010, skittling Australia for 98 before piling up a total of 513 to set up an innings victory. They were in a strong position on their last visit to Melbourne, too, before collapsing from 65-0 to 179 all out in the second innings.
The Aussies usually maintain the festive mood at the MCG, however, winning 14 of their 17 Tests this century including last year’s innings victory over a Pakistan side who posted a respectable 443 batting first.
‘The G’ brings out the best in home skipper Steve Smith, who averages 127 after five Melbourne Tests, while spinner Lyon (19 wickets in his last four games) is also a factor there.
SCG, SYDNEY January 4-8, 2018
Australia’s record since 2000: P20 W15 D3 L2
England’s record since 2000 - 2002-03: Won by 225 runs; 2006-07: Lost by ten wickets; 2010-11: Won by an innings & 83 runs; 2013-14: Lost by 281 runs
Spinners Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill are the leading wicket-takers at the SCG, sharing 117 scalps in 22 Tests, although paceman Ryan Harris did the damage in the most recent Ashes clash with match figures of 8-61.
Australia have a rock-solid recent record in Sydney, where their last three first-innings opening partnerships have been 151 against Pakistan, 100 against the West Indies and 200 against India.
The Aussies will have no shortage of local knowledge when they arrive in Sydney as it's the home ground of New South Wales contingent Warner, Smith, Starc, Lyon, Hazlewood and Pat Cummins.
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