England are set to ramp up their preparations for the Ashes tomorrow in the first of two warmup matches against the England Lions.
We are now 16 days out from the start of the series, which gets underway on Wednesday the 8th of December at the Gabba in Brisbane.
It’s not historically been the best of hunting grounds for English touring sides but the Aussies look a little in disarray after Tim Paine resigned ahead of the weekend, so it’s certainly going to be an interesting clash.
But how does England’s pre-Ashes schedule look?
Tomorrow, England start a three-day warmup match (23/11 – 25/11) against the England Lions at Redlands, which as per The Evening Standard will be a more relaxed match than the four-day match scheduled to take place next week.
The five players that have joined up with the squad after the T20 World Cup – Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Chris Woakes, and Mark Wood – are unlikely to feature at all in the first match as they’re not out of quarantine and able to travel to Brisbane until Wednesday.
As Chris Silverwood and Paul Collingwood were at the T20 World Cup, assistant coach Graham Thorpe has been in charge of the pre-Ashes preparations so far and will continue to do so until the duo join up with the squad later this week.
Next Monday, Joe Root’s side will step their preparations up further with a more serious four-day warmup match (29/11 – 02/12) at the Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane.
All of England’s 18-strong squad should be available for that match and it may give us more of an insight as to what XI we can expect at the Gabba.
It’s going to be a very interesting next 16 days, that’s for sure!