Australian cricket is in a dark place right now. Whereas England’s preparations so far have been excellent, Australia look like a team in disarray. Crucially for England everyone is fit and ready to play.
This was not the case on either of the past two Ashes tours. In 2002-03 Darren Gough, Steve Harmison and Andrew Flintoff were all struggling. And in 2006‑07 we had injuries to Michael Vaughan, Ashley Giles and Marcus Trescothick. Not this time. This means that the management knows exactly what their best XI is. So the team has had a chance to settle down and play well in their two warm-up matches.