After series defeats against India, New Zealand, Australia and West Indies, England were on one of their worst ever runs in Test cricket. They opted to change their coaching staff and Joe Root stepped down from his role as captain.
In what is a new era, which includes Brendon McCullum as the head coach and all-rounder Ben Stokes as captain, things are starting to look bright again for England. They have shown they are capable of being a big force in the five-day format of the game.
McCullum and Stokes will be hoping their team’s form continues into 2023 when they host Australia in the Ashes. England have not won a series against their oldest rivals since 2015.
As of the 18th of July, they are 6/5 in the cricket odds to prevail next year on home turf.
England Stuck to Game Plan
There were moments in all four of England’s Test match wins against New Zealand and India where they looked to be in trouble. However, England continued to play aggressive cricket, which is what helped them to turn the games around.
Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow all benefited from playing attacking cricket. They were in great form with the bat, not only scoring lots of runs, but at a high strike rate. All three of those men were not afraid to take on some of the leading bowlers in the world such as Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
England struggled against India in 2021, as they were victorious in just one of those four matches. In the rearranged Fifth Test in Birmingham, they were able to rescue a draw from the series. They prevailed by seven wickets, despite allowing India to score 416 runs in their first innings.
India are ranked second behind Australia in the ICC World Test Rankings, so their latest win will give them a lot of confidence ahead of what is going to be a huge year in 2023. Before they host the Ashes series, England have Test series against South Africa (three matches) and New Zealand (two matches).
England Have Players Still to Return
Another big positive for McCullum is that he has some big players who are set to return to Test cricket once they are over their injuries. This will not only give them some extra quality, but they will also have strong competition for places.
Pace bowler Jofra Archer is one of those players who are currently out through injury. He has not played Test cricket for England since an overseas match against India in February 2021. The former Wisden Cricketer of the Year is sure to be in contention once becomes available again.
All-rounder Chris Woakes is another player who will be pushing to get into the team once fit. He featured in the West Indies this year, but he has had to miss all the international cricket so far this summer.
Not only had Woakes recorded bowling figures of 6/17 in Test cricket, but his highest score with the bat is 137 not-out, which he hit against India at Lord’s in 2018.
Australia Remain in Good Form
Australia have yet to suffer a series defeat in Test cricket in 2022. They began the year by retaining the Ashes. They drew the Fourth Test of the series in Sydney, while in the Fifth Test, they came out on top again in Hobart.
In March, Australia prevailed in a three-match series in Pakistan. With conditions against them, they recorded a memorable success with victory coming in the Third Test by 115 runs to secure the win.
Most recently, Australia continued their excellent form in Test cricket by drawing in Sri Lanka. The number-one ranked team in the ICC rankings won the opening Test, but the hosts levelled up in Galle.
As of the 18th of July, Australia are the marginal favourites in the betting to win the next Ashes series in England. If they are able to prevail, it will be their third success in four series against their rivals.
The opening Ashes Test in 2023 will take place in July, with a full list of matches set to be revealed later this year.