As Test One gets underways, two rivals put aside their differences to talk cricket and the world famous Ashes…
Andrew – call me Freddie Flintoff – bowed out of international cricket at 31, playing his final Ashes series in 2009. Freddie finished with Test averages of 31 with the bat and 32 with the ball.
Here he shares his views on the players to watch during the Ashes 2013:
Jimmy Anderson is the best swing bowler in the world, but the way Australia play spin, Graeme Swann will have an impact.
Kevin Pietersen is key. He could be one of our all-time record run scorers.
Shane Warne, one of the greatest cricketers ever, practically reinvented and certainly repopularised the dark arts of leg-spin. Of his 708 Test victims, 195 were Englishmen. No bowler on either side of the fray has been remotel as successful in the Ashes.
Shane thinks Australia will surprise England this year, telling Radio Times that the Ashes series “always brings out the best in both teams”. Does that extend to the Aussies actually winning? “It’s hard to judge that right now,” he says.
And while any Australian side lacking Warne is diminished, here’s Shane’s ones to watch:
Michael Clarke is the number one batsman in the world. We need him to be fit,” says Warne. But watch out for James Pattinson and all-rounder James Faulkner. Pattinson can bowl close to 100mph, and he will be a real superstar. Faulkner is tough, aggressive and wants to be the best. He’s a class act.
How to watch: Every day’s play will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2/HD, which has been renamed Sky Sports Ashes for the rest of the summer. Channel 5 will also show an hour’s highlights of each day’s play at 7pm.