KEY MAN: Jimmy Anderson will cause plenty of dramas for Aussie batsmen.
KEY MAN: Jimmy Anderson will cause plenty of dramas for Aussie batsmen. Rick Rycroft

Excitement building ahead of the Ashes


I CAN'T wait for the Ashes to get under way.

The World Cup was great, got me my nightly fix, but nothing beats the purity of Test Cricket.

Tradition still means so much in this game.

Hopefully a few Tests go the distance.

Based on lead-up form from batsmen on both sides this might be a series dominated by bowlers, or the weather.

I love the tradition of a series in England.

Numbers on players' backs aside, of course.

Not sure that's going to catch on.

One of the great things about Test cricket has been the necessity to study a batsman to identify him.

The different quirks, the different shots, a casual glance wasn't enough to distinguish.

I love that about the sport.

A Mike Hussey cover drive was so unique it was recognisable.

As was a Ponting pull shot, a slashing Mark Waugh cut shot, or a Steve Waugh punch.

It's a different game.

It's not like football codes, fast-moving, where numbers help identify players instantly.

You have time watching Test cricket to pick up these traits and nuances.

Anyway, rant aside, it should be a belter of a series.

The English bowling attack will be a monumental challenge for our boys, who will have to be at their best to be anywhere near mastering them.

I'm hoping the cricket gods smile on us.

There's a Welsh bloke in the office who found his English passport quickly after the World Cup win, who would love an Ashes gloat too.