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Agree with Lewis 116. No inbetween with this squad. Probably 8 top players and the rest unproven, suspect etc.
First team I grew up with in the early sixties included May, Cowdrey, Dexter, Barrington, Graveney with the bat, Trueman and Statham with the ball. Yet we never held the Ashes from 1956 to 1970, and lost home series to WI (twice) and S Africa. Funny game.
The problem with making comparisons is that the strength of opposing countries should be taken into account, like the Bradman era and others with the Aussies or period of West Indian domination or some of the great South African or sub continent countries. There is no way that the squad selected for the forthcoming Ashes series in the strongest ever, but it could be one of the weakest. Unless Cook, Root and Bairstow score big and Anderson and other seamers excel themselves, we could struggle to win one test.
"First team I grew up with in the early sixties included May, Cowdrey, Dexter, Barrington, Graveney with the bat, Trueman and Statham with the ball. Yet we never held the Ashes from 1956 to 1970, and lost home series to WI (twice) and S Africa. Funny game."
WE did, of course, win the Ashes in 1953 and 1954/55 (Hutton) and we slaughtered them in 1956, Laker's year. In my opinion the strongest England team of my lifetime, with almost two complete attacks of world class to call upon.
The Ashes winning England sides in 1953 and In Australia 1954-5 captained by Len Hutton were two of the best England teams.
I definitely don't agree this is the worst ever Australian side. Smith and Warner are world-class batsmen, Lyon is probably their best ever finger spinner and Starc, Hazelwood and especially Cummins are towards the beginning of their careers but all have impressed thus far (as their Test averages of 28, 26 and 25 attest) and look set to go on to have fine careers if they can stay fit.
It'll be a miracle if Starc, Hazelwood and Cummins are all fit for all five tests. The supporting cast of pace bowlers is not as strong as those three.
Spot on, Alibor! Though Trueman - and it still hurts to acknowledge this - only played in one Test over both series.
The mid eighties sides of Australia were worse than the current one. They had lost G Chappell, Lillee and Marsh to retirement at the same time and it was left to ALlan Border to get it right by the late eighties with S Waugh/M Taylor/McDermott/Healy. We even won the Ashes in 85 and 86/87!