‘This is going to be violent’: the Guerilla crew give their Ashes predictions (part one)

When it comes to the Ashes, everyone has to have their say on the outcome. And we, at Guerilla Cricket, are no different. So here, in the first of two features, are the predictions from some of the finest/most deranged minds (delete as applicable) in the game. Expect wild optimism, psychotic pessimism, rigorously-applied stats (think pi), and bizarre nods to Rudyard Kipling and BBC crime documentaries. Not to mention a couple of Glenn McGraths. Talking of worthless opinions, we’ve even let some of our Australian friends have a go.

David Barratt

Guerilla Cricket contributor / jingle writer @MenWithVenUK

1st Test, Brisbane: England smashed by an innings

2nd Test, Adelaide: Jimmy gets seven wickets in the first innings but then gets injured. Eventually Australia win by two wickets

Stokes returns exonerated.

3rd Test, Perth: England win toss and bat and are 30-4 as Stokes walks to the wicket. He leaves the crease at tea the following day. Win!

4th Test, Melbourne: Australia have their first serious batting collapse of the series. Broad, on taking his eighth wicket of the Australian first innings, but bored of his Edvard Munch impersonation goes for a full “Semon On The Mount” by Danish artist Henrik Olrik Easy win for England.

5th Test, Sydney: A low-scoring affair. Australia need 230 in the fourth innings to win. They are 227-9 and Warner is 157 not out. Lyon is facing Stokes. It’s the last ball of the over. Stokes Mankads Warner. Warner swings for Stokes. Misses. Stokes chins Warner. Moeen Ali, forever the peacemaker, says to Warner: “Best stay down bruv.”

England win 3-2

Keep the faith: Broad was the star at the MCG press conference that night

Aatif Nawaz

Guerilla Cricket commentator @AatifNawaz

Let’s be honest. England’s game is tiiiight. And right now Australia aren’t really solid. They’re more liquid. Borderline gaseous. So as long as the physical atmosphere (as opposed to the psychological atmosphere) has no bearing, I expect a mauling. England will be all over Australia like a cheap suit. This is gonna be violent. Almost uncomfortable to watch. Or not. Whatever. I’m watching Pakistan vs New Zealand anyway.

England win 5-0

Paul Howarth

Guerilla Cricket commentator @Grubby78

Like a scrawny, freckled step-son, England are second favourites. The fabled Aussie pacers are prowling their cages and pawing at the red earth. Warner, Smith et al are building up their run appetite (pausing only briefly to shove their significant others into the verbal pre-scrap). Meanwhile, the tourists have injury, form and legal issues to address. Easy, then. Clean sweep for Rootie’s boys.

England win 5-0

Roger McCann

Guerilla Cricket commentator @rogpineapple

Two words: Vince’s Ashes. Did you see him in that Waca warm-up? With his collar turned up, caressing, persuading and styling through the off-side. Be still my beating Hant. They will begin to talk of Martyn, M Waugh, K Hughes, G Chappell. By Sydney, he’ll be batting in a cap, and freshly appointed supremo of English cricket, MCJ Nicholas will be there to chair him off as his 159no secures…

England win 3-2

Ian Pearce

Guerilla Cricket commentator @IanPearce100

I just expect Australia to be too strong although I think England can win one along the way with a fine individual performance from someone like Root or Ali. Whatever score prediction you choose I just cannot see any drawn tests.

Australia win 4-1

Allan Engel

Guerilla Cricket commentator @FredTitmus

Let’s start with the series score: England to win 6-0. Yes, six. During a fractious fourth Test, Glenn Maxwell is penalised by the umpires for bowling four bouncers in an over at Stuart Broad to deprive of an opportunity to bring up his triple century before the close of the first day. The incensed Aussie captain, Ashton Agar (Smith having been dropped after six consecutive ducks refuses to let his team take the field the following morning and the match is awarded to England. Frantic diplomatic negotiations ensue, with furious cables being exchanged between Australia and civilisation. England, gracious in victory as ever, agree to a sixth Test in Darwin and Jimmy’s 16 wickets – giving him 70 for the series – seal the rout.

England win 6-0

Rowan Gibson

Guerilla Cricket contributor @TheDeadPirateRowan

1st Test: England have a superb innings batting first and knock Australia over for very little and enforce the follow-on. Buoyed up by false confidence, they bowl absolute shite in the follow-on, allowing Australia to rack up a huge total. Aussies declare seven wickets down, leaving England to get 300 in the final two sessions. England flail around and nearly make it, ending the day 8 down and needing 20 more runs. Draw.

2nd & 3rd Tests: England sail into them full of confident, professional soundbites and tank utterly.

4th Test: First two wickets for bugger all. Depressing lunchtime. Nos 3 and 4 then bat like absolute stars, giving the fans hope and leading to end-of-day interviews saying “England might just pull this series back and retain the Ashes”. As soon as the third wicket falls, everything goes tits up. Australia win, securing the Ashes.

5th Test: Australians viciously hungover. England limp to a win.

Australia win 3-1

Ralph Thomas

Guerilla Cricket commentator

The triumph of 2011/12 was largely built on Cook’s form. Methodically snipping the maggoted dags from the festering backside of the late Ponting-era Australian side, his hard work allowed others to prosper. Sadly he’s not been the same player for quite some time and never will be. Alastair Cook? I’d rather see Sue at the top of the order, solid and dependable, first name down on the Crimewatch team sheet, giving me, for one, some succour in those cold dark hours of the night under my duvet. Five-nil Australia then and it would be six if they still played ’em! Black armbands.

Australia win 5-0

Crimewatch's Sue Cook

Crimewatch’s Sue Cook: it’s scandalous she’s never opened for England

Gary Naylor

Guerilla Cricket commentator @garynaylor999

I’m not really sure they’re as good as everyone thinks. These guys, if they get on top they are magnificent cricketers. But if they’re down, they grovel, and we will, with the help of Stokesy (er… OK, Woakesy) and a few others, make them grovel. Final score – baggygreenwash.

England win 5-0

Al Hotchkiss

Guerilla Cricket commentator @AlHotch

Winning away from home is hard, and away series wins only occur when there is a significant difference between the sides – and there isn’t one here. When your best four batsmen bat at Nos 1,4, 6 and 8, that’s a problem for England. There appears to be a lack of fight in both teams, in trying to turn a Test around, so I can see all five tests leading to results, and I’d be nervous holding a day-five ticket. Aussies to win series in 4, but final score….

Australia win 3-2

Nigel Walker

Guerilla Cricket founder / commentator / technical director @thehoffbear

Ever the optimist that I am, England are going to win. Even without Stokes (who I’m pretty sure the cricket-loving legal fraternity are trying to spring as we speak) we have a lot of options; two decent allrounders counts for a lot. Australia have their frailties and, if the new ball can be negotiated, the hard, fast wickets over there should suit all batsmen. Can the Australian pace attack stay fit for an entire series? Chances are they won’t. With the pace of the game these days – and based on recent Ashes contests – there shouldn’t be too many fifth days. There is always the chance of a draw due to weather and, unlikely as it seems, I reckon we’ll get one here.

England win 3-1

Alec Paton

Guerilla Cricket commentator @AlecEverlone

I’m going full Glenn McGrath here. England’s bowlers to quit en-masse at the end of the series, and their batsmen to be forced to play in their underwear after they forget their kit. [what, for the whole series – Ed?] Frankly, can’t see how it would be any other way, so…

Australia win 5-0

Manny Cohen

Guerilla Cricket commentator

If the Aussie fast bowlers stay fit throughout. If England can knock over Warner and Smith with the new ball. If Moeen believes he is half as good a bowler as he is. If England bat Bairstow at five and let Foakes keep wicket and bat at seven. If Lyons is allowed to hold an end. If Wade is as shit as I think he is. If I knew the answers to the above I would give you an answer whilst having a substantial bet on a racing certainty.

Australia/England win or draw or tie

Tony Bishop

Guerilla Cricket commentator @tonybishop1

England not as bad as we fear. Australia not as good. As well as having the Lions nearby to call upon, MCC has also enlisted crossbow archer to dig us out of emergency situations as needed.

Series drawn 2-2

Latest England squad member

Secret weapon: the latest member of England’s backroom staff awaits his moment.

Jon Stone

Guerilla Cricket producer @JonStone_

It’s another visit to Australia

Which usually ends up in failure

With no Ben Stokes

There goes our hopes

It’ll be 5-0 because of his behaviour

Australia win 5-0

The view from Down Under

They’re arse-about-face on pretty much everything; the Ashes should be no exception.

Jeremy Henderson

Guerilla Cricket listener / contributor @messyjez

England to win because of superior allrounders and Jonny Bairstow! Brisbane and Perth draws, Adelaide and Sydney to England, MCG to Australia. Bear in mind that the first Ashes test at Perth was a draw, which was great for gate receipts. Far be it from me to be cynical, but …

England win 2-1

Alec Tucker

Guerilla Cricket jingle writer @Mog7734

It’s a universally-accepted truth that Australia NEVER lose at home, so let’s just accept the McGrathian 5-0 scoreline and ponder players. Like which wicketkeeper will get the job. I predict Australia will play Wade. He’ll suck and be dropped. Then Neville. Who will also suck and be dropped. Then Wade. Again. He’ll suck. Again. Then Bancroft. He’ll be hilariously injured in an on-field collision with a rampaging Warner. Then they’ll have to pick Carey. He’ll make a double ton on debut. But the biggest shock will be that Hilton Cartwright will remain but a footnote in the game’s history.

Australia win 5-0

Dan Liebke

White Line Wireless commentator @LiebCricket

Earlier this year, my brothers gave me a birthday present of several elaborate multi-bets, where a number of things needed to happen for me to win money. Most of those multi-bets are now dead, but there is one still active. That only surviving multi-bet is the one they dubbed the ‘Evil’ bet and its final leg requires England to win the Ashes 3-1. So I’m tipping that because I want money.

England win 3-1

Anthony Condon

White Line Wireless / Guerilla Cricket contributor @AnthCondon

At least one player from either side will have a fracas in a nightclub that involves either fists or acts of public urination. There will be at least one angry ranga [redhead] on the field trying to murder people with looks. This may or may not be Ben Stokes. Steve Smith won’t stop fidgeting. Bill Lawry will be commentating for the last time, the end of an era, the final reason there was to listen to Channel 9 call a cricket match.

No score given