Waugh votes Australia. Lever votes England.

I find it amazing how The Ashes can stir up such debate. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen England win an Ashes series. I cannot even imagine the feeling of winning the Ashes – it would almost certainly be the highlight of my year, whenever that year happens to pass. And yet, every series – without exception – every cricketing pundit questions whether England are strong enough; whether Australia are too old; whether England might, just might, sneak this one. It’s testament to a truly great cricketing rivalry of one of the oldest sporting contests.

So – 150 days to go until it starts. That’s half a year, give or take 65 days. And Mark Waugh and Peter Lever are offering their (rather predictable) opinions on the possible outcome

From my perspective, I’m quite relaxed about England’s chances. We will not win unless Harmison is at his best. It’s that simple. Hoggard will have 2 good Tests, at most – he’s a workhorse, a fine bowler, but not a leader. Harmison has rare ability – no one in the world generates the bounce from a good length like he does – so it’s really all down to him. No pressure mate – and it’s not like he’s good at handling the pressure, is it? The key is in England’s bowling performances in Australia’s first innings – they need to take those 50 wickets (5 Tests x 10 wickets) cheaply and quickly.

And I promise not to post my predictions of the outcome each day here :) Boring, even for me…

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