‘The steady ebbing away of hope’: the Guerilla crew give their Ashes predictions (part two)

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 second 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 a couple of Glenn McGraths. Talking of worthless opinions, we’ve even let some of our Australian friends have a go.

Nigel Henderson

Guerilla Cricket founder / anchor @guerillahendo

It’s too close to call, some say. Is it buggery! With the bowlers cancelling each other out, either on the pitch or in the physios’ chairs, it’s a straight shootout between two pairs of batsmen: Cook and Root and Warner and Smith. Expect the Aussie pair to get matching double centuries at Brisbane and at least a hundred apiece elsewhere while Cook is strangled down the leg-side in three successive innings and Root, in a departure from his norm of failing to turn fifties into three figures fails to turn single figures into double and finishes with the worst runs return of an Ashes captain. Even Jim Laker, God rest his soul, is not spared ignominy, being scrubbed from the record books as Nathan Lyon grabs all 20 England wickets on a Bunsen burner at Sydney. The tourists remain thankful only for the unexpected weather system that leaves Perth shivering in unseasonal temperatures of 11C and causes the final Test at the Waca to be abandoned without a ball bowled. A bored Barmy Army enter a team in the harness racing on the adjacent Gloucester Park but, approaching the finish line in front, their carriage gets stuck in the mud to deny England their only victory of the tour.

Australia win 4-0

Totally barmy: bored England supporters are denied a consolation victory in Perth

Andy Ryan

Guerilla Cricket commentator @ReverseSweptRadio

A rather cowardly cop-out of a prediction that comes from being pretty sure we aren’t good enough to win but also having a hunch that we’re too good to take a complete pasting. (As an aside, it’s charming that Google Dictionary’s example of the appropriate use of the word pasting is: “another pasting for England’s bowlers”). There isn’t going to be the total despair of the whitewash; instead we’ll get the oh so English steady ebbing away of hope. One of Stoneman or Malan will be the tour’s “surprise package”.

Australia win 3-1

Nakul Pande

Guerilla Cricket commentator @NakulMPande

1st Test: run, runs and more runs, as the Gabbatoir turns over several sun-baked days from killing floor to poorly stocked petting zoo. Cook, Root and Moeen star for England, with Renshaw, the Pig and (with bat and ball) and Cummins strong for Aus; draw, both sides wrongly claim moral high ground.

2nd Test: the seamers on both sides have fun in the artifical replacement for the sun. England deal with Starc marginally worse than Australia deal with Anderson; narrow and exciting Australia win.

3rd Test: For the last ever Test at the Waca, the groundsman prepares a throwback viper-like nightmare, and Starc and Cummins have the England batsmen calling for their brown trousers. Warner goes ballistic in the Aussie second innings; crushing Australia win.

4th Test: ‘Ohh what a night/Late December at the MCG/Nathan Lyon takes 12 for 123/Niiice Garry, what a night!’ Ok maybe not, but he’ll take a bundle at some point against batsmen desperately looking for an outlet, and the Boxing Day Test’s as good a time as any; big Australia win to seal the series.

5th Test: New-look England, led by new captain Moeen after Root is ritually sacrificed to appease the Hill, romp to the now traditional glorious dead-rubber victory. Australia take to the field on day one still drunk, only to be ripped apart by young debutant Mason Crane. Surprise call up Samit Patel flays the Aussie all around the SCG for a match-winning double hundred. He never plays for England again; England win, but…

Australia win 3-1

Cricket Doggeral

David Franklin

Guerilla Cricket commentator @franklycricket

1971 was memorable for many reasons – the end of the gold standard, the invention of the microprocessor, the birth of Ronnie Irani. It also marked the last time England won a Test in Australia in which three of their top six had played fewer than ten games. With this logic unimpeachable, England will lose the upcoming series 5-0. As in 2006-07 and 2013-14, I will be miserable – but at least this time I will also be right.

Australia win 5-0

Simon O’Keeffe

Guerilla Cricket commentator @SOKCricket

This series is going to be won by the bowlers on day one of the first Test in Brisbane. Regardless of who wins the toss, if the bowlers get the upper hand and the team goes on to win the match, it will set the tone. There will be a draw caused by time lost to bad weather but series prediction…

Australia win 3-1

Josh Robinson

Guerilla Cricket contributor @JshRbnsn

England get hammered in Brisbane, level the series in Adelaide with an inspired performance from Anderson under lights, and then lose heavily in Perth. Needing to keep the series alive, Root makes a risky declaration at the MCG, and Australia scrape home by two wickets. Consolation win for England in Sydney.

Australia win 3-2

Jason Hiscox

Guerilla Cricket contributor @jasonghiscox

England need to fire with both bat & ball against the old foe, who will be rejuvenated at home. I’m not sure which worries me more, England’s batting or bowling – and the absence of Stokes hurts both. Still, optimistically…

Series drawn 2-2

Chris Deeley

Guerilla Cricket commentator @ThatChris1209

What we have here, boy, girls and those who identify as neither, is a Test series between two sides who aren’t really that good at Test cricket at the moment. Australia are at home and have one entire Mitchell Starc, while England are away and probably without all of Ben Stokes. Bonus prediction: Gary Ballance will be dropped after three Tests despite not being England’s worst specialist batsman in those matches.

Australia win 4-1

James Sherwood

Guerilla Cricket jingle writer / contributor @SherwoodJam

1st Test Eng 198, Aus 424, Eng 387, Aus 163-2. Aus win by eight wkts

2nd Test Eng 310 Aus 297, Eng 360, Aus 320-7. Match drawn

3rd Test Aus 578-9d, Eng 429, Aus 200-1d, Eng 309-8 Match drawn

4th Test Aus 307, Eng 559-9d, Aus 321, Eng 70-0 Eng win by 10 wkts

5th Test Aus 415, Eng 380, Aus 295, Eng 330. Match tied

Series drawn 1-1, knighthoods for both squads, coaches, dieticians…

James Sherwood

James Sherwood: the kind of precision you’d expect from Guerilla Cricket’s theme-tune writer

Andy Ward

Guerilla Cricket commentator @GetItQuietly

As much as I hate to use the word, momentum is huge in a tour to Australia. I fear if Australia go 2-0 up they will steamroll the series. If England can get something from the first two Tests, game on, but if not I can only see 5-0 and that’s what I’m going with.

Australia win 5-0

Joe MacDougall

Guerilla Cricket contributor @MacdougallJoe

Aussies to run out convincing winners I fear. We might nick one in Adelaide when Jimmy hoops it round corners under the lights but otherwise we’ll struggle to make 300+ very often.

Australia win 4-1

Ed Benson

Guerilla Cricket commentator @The_Ed_Benson

My prediction is 3-1 to the Aussies if Stokes isn’t there, and 3-1 plus a bar brawl after Adelaide if he is.

Australia win 3-1

Liz Yates

Guerilla Cricket contributor @CricketVixen

If the weather doesn’t interfere then Aussies to sneak it. They will win the first two matches because of great bowling displays but someone (or more than someone) will get injured [a la McGrath stepping on the ball? – Ed] Bolstered, England win the next Test and the one after that. But with victory in sight they get cocky, and with Australia uncovering suitable and inspired replacements, make mistakes, allowing the hosts a deciding win at Sydney.

Australia win 3-2

Sean Treacy

Guerilla Cricket contributor @NestleBoy2

I reckon it’s going to be a 3-1 win to The Aussies. One because they’re at home and two The Stokes Factor.

Australia win 3-1

Steve Busfield

Guerilla Cricket contributor @Busfield

Australia are at home, England lose their balance without Stokes (unless the legal system works record-breakingly swiftly and our Ben is proven to be a have-a-go-hero rather than a lout). Heart says 2-2, but head says…

Australia win 3-1

Will Cockerell

Guerilla Cricket commentator @willvlc

The result will be the average of England v Australia in Australia since the second world war.

So … drumroll …

46-47 3-0

50-51 4-1

54-55 1-3

58-59 4-0

62-63 1-1

65-66 1-1

70-71 0-2

74-75 4-1

78-79 1-5

82-83 2-1

86-87 1-2

90-91 3-0

94-95 3-1

98-99 3-1

02-03 4-1

06-07 5-0

10-11 1-3

13-14 5-0

[46-23] If we round up and down it’s 3-1. If we don’t go into decimal points it’s 2-1, and if England avoid defeat in the .611 Aus win, and somehow turn their .277pts into a win, it’s 2-2 and Goodnight Charlie!

Australia win 2.611-1.277

Dan Whiting

Guerilla Cricket contributor @TheMiddleStump

Broad and Anderson hold the key as, after 20 overs, the Kookaburra ball is as much use as Anne Frank’s drum kit. Without Stokes too, our attack has to find a way of getting 20 wickets. This is no great Aussie side either and their attack needs to keep out of the physio’s room. However, I think in their conditions they will have too much in their favour for England to win.

Australia to win 3-1

The view from Down Under

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

Jeff Perkins

Guerilla Cricket jingle writer @jeffperkins12

I was rather stoked for the Ashes. Then they were unStokesed. For a while England have papered over their batting frailties by playing eight batsmen, relying on two allrounders to add depth. For once this has worked. It used to lead to walking wickets and players who featured more often in pub quizzes than actual selections. Stokesless In Aus will sorely test this strategy. Meanwhile, Australia are deciding to play to their strengths by forgetting cricketing talent and stacking the side with sledgers. Neville wasn’t short of runs after all, he just wasn’t as much of a c**t as Wade. In home conditions I would expect the lesser lights in the Aussie side to do slightly better than their English counterparts, so…

Australia win 3-1

Dennis Freedman

Guerilla Cricket contributor @manyatwitterpesudonym

Anderson to be hit for a world record amount of runs in an over at Perth and then retire with his country down 3-0. “It’s my tribute to Graeme Swann,” he says. England to reach Sydney 4-0 down. Ben Stokes to be flown back for the 5th Test, where he earns the first ever red card in an international match after punching Moeen Ali because of a run-out mix-up that costs him a half century.

Australia win 4-0 (at least)

James Humberstone

Guerilla Cricket contributor @JamesHumbers

The tone for the Ashes will be set by the ghost of Nasser persuading Root to bowl after winning the toss at Brisbane. Harmison Anderson will send the first ball to second slip – sadly not off the edge of Warner’s bat which then “sets the tone” with a six from the second ball (which has as much to do with his moustache fashion as his batting). Australia to win Brisbane, Perth. England to win Adelaide and Melbourne when Stokes makes a surprise comeback owing to his vocal support for Australia’s successful marriage equality campaign. It’s 2-2 going into the final Test at the SCG, where Alastair Cook will bat for four days yet England will still be bowled out twice for less than half of Warner’s two-session 300.

Australia win 3-2

Jim Birchall

Guerilla Cricket contributor

Once again, as a Kiwi, I am torn between supporting our ugly, brash, arrogant older brother and our pompous colonial oppressor. I do foresee a truck load of poles for the pockmarked school bully Starc, and several mid series retirements from Cook, pretty boy Broad and overatedson. This will occur when he works out the Kookaburra doesn’t swing under clear Adelaide skies. By the third Test, the Shermanator will be summoned from a bleak Birmingham and Colly, a la David Steele, will be a middle order mainstay despite being older than Michael Parkinson. Clean sweep for Australia but for rain in Sydney.

Australia win 4-0

Bad weather

Long to rain over you: bad weather in Sydney prevents an Australian white wash

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