What do England need to do to win the next Ashes?

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English cricket had one of its most legendary summers in 2019. Over nearly 100 days of international cricket, England re-captured the national imagination with a series of famous performances. The World Cup, hosted on English soil, came home with a climatic win over New Zealand, courtesy of the first ever ODI super-over. 

Of course, England also hosted the Ashes against old foes Australia. In another incredible day for English cricket, Ben Stokes wrote himself into cricketing legend with his century at Headingley enough to save the series for England at 1-1, perhaps the greatest Test innings in history. 

Sadly, Australia ultimately took the Ashes back down under after an unassailable 2-1 lead was established at Old Trafford, but already the planning has begun for England to reclaim the urn and bring it back to its rightful home. 

Given their performance in the 2019 series, the England cricket faithful have every reason to feel optimistic ahead of next year but with the series so close to call according to bookmakers, optimistic fans of the baggy blues may need to use a bet calculator to work out how to place their wagers before the series begins.

Ahead of the trip to Oz, in this article we assess what it will take for England to regain the urn once again:

A new barmy army?

The 2021 series is due to begin in Brisbane in November of next year. This first thing England must do is embrace the wealth of new fans that they won across that incredible summer in 2019. No longer solely the preserve of older sports fans, cricket’s demographic is changing. 

The excitement of England winning a World Cup on home soil undoubtedly gave new and younger fans an appreciation of cricket, and the game’s authorities are already capitalising.

The Hundred franchise met with some fairly fierce criticism when it was first announced, but the 100-ball format could still prove popular with younger fans who are intimidated by the Test. With the first Hundred season pushed back to 2021, it will finish just months before England depart for Australia. The challenge will therefore be to convince new fans to follow the team at Test level. 

All this should lead to increased support for England down under, which will be of vital importance when facing up against the rowdy Aussies. 

Support Silverwood 

Former head coach Trevor Bayliss bowed out after the 2019 season, and rightly deserves plaudits for his incredible efforts in white ball cricket, with the World Cup coming as his greatest achievement. However, new coach Chris Silverwood must be given the chance to extend England’s one day dominance into Test cricket. In truth, for all Bayliss’s efforts, England’s prestige in Test cricket had started to slip. 

If England are to have any chance next winter, they must turn promising Test performances like those enjoyed at Headingley and The Oval in last series into more consistent showings. 

Root for Victory 

Joe Root has had a mixed time as England captain. Despite aforementioned success in ODIs and T20s, Joe Root’s individual performance in Test cricket is itself is representative of England’s need to improve in the format. 

Root has failed to score a century in the last two Ashes series, and therefore inevitable questions on his ability to lead from the front in a Test series have been raised. However, in truth there is no other viable candidate to lead England at the next series, with Ben Stokes more suited to Vice-Captain for now. 

Therefore, Silverwood must commit to a future with Root at his side, and build a team capable of defeating Australia around the Yorkshireman. 

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