In Focus

The Ashes 2021-22: Test squads, predictions, UK start times, TV coverage

Everything you need to know about the Australia vs. England cricket series 

1

Test dates, start times and TV

First Test
  • When: 8-12 December 2021
  • Where: The Gabba, Brisbane 
  • Result: Australia won by nine wickets 
Second Test (day-night)
  • When: 16-20 December 2021
  • Where: The Adelaide Oval, Adelaide 
  • Daily start time: 4am
  • TV coverage: BT Sport
  • Radio coverage: Test Match Special on BBC radio 
Third Test
  • When: 26-30 December 2021
  • Where: MCG, Melbourne 
  • Daily start time: 11.30pm 
  • TV coverage: BT Sport
  • Radio coverage: Test Match Special on BBC radio
Fourth Test
  • When: 5-9 January 2022
  • Where: SCG, Sydney 
  • Daily start time: 11.30pm 
  • TV coverage: BT Sport
  • Radio coverage: Test Match Special on BBC radio
Fifth Test (day-night)
  • When: 14-18 January 2022
  • Where: Blundstone Arena, Hobart, Tasmania (replaces Perth)
  • UK start time: TBC
  • TV coverage: BT Sport
  • Radio coverage: Test Match Special on BBC radio

2

The Ashes urn

Getty Images

Predictions: who will win the Ashes?

Australian bowling legend Glenn McGrath has given his “customary” 5-0 verdict, The Daily Telegraph reported. McGrath believes his country could secure a whitewash depending on the result of the first Test. “I’ve painted myself into a corner in that if I say anything other than 5-0, people will say I’m not confident any more,” he told the BBC. “I’m predicting an Australia win – not 5-0, but if they are dominant in the first Test I might readjust.”

An “ill-prepared and raw” England need a “mini-miracle” to win the Test series in Australia, said Daniel Storey on the i news site. The Ashes is “not the playground, the academy nor the finishing school, but the stage”.

Chris Silverwood’s England team are “certainly underdogs”, said Metro’s Louis Sealey. The return of Ben Stokes is “huge” so they should win a Test, but they “remain huge underdogs to reclaim the urn”. Sealey predicts a 3-1 series win for Australia. 

Fox Cricket’s leading commentators believe an Australian series win is “inevitable”. Aussie spin legend Shane Warne believes the Baggy Greens will win the series 2-1 while he tips David Warner to make the most runs and Pat Cummins to take the most wickets. Michael Hussey predicts a 4-0 series win for Australia and Adam Gilchrist is backing a 4-1 triumph for the home side. 

Writers at The Cricketer “lay their reputations on the line” with their Ashes predictions. George Dobell said “it’s hard to be wildly optimistic” about the series and he fears a “real drubbing” for the tourists. However, he’d be “delighted” if England “make me eat my words”. Elizabeth Botcherby was equally optimistic… “4-0 (to Australia, obviously)”. 

Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and Test Match Special commentator Alison Mitchell are two of the BBC pundits predicting a 2-2 series draw. “The Covid restrictions, schedule and the weather are working in England’s favour,” Agnew said. Australia were the firm favourites, that now “only seems to be marginal”. Mitchell, meanwhile, believes the series might be “a lot more even than people who are favouring Australia presume”. It will come down to “how many times England can take 20 wickets” and “how many times their batters can withstand the much-vaunted Australia bowling attack”.

Oliver Brown, chief sports writer at The Telegraph, believes “reasons for English optimism are multiplying fast”. Brown is predicting a 3-2 series victory for Root’s team, but should they lose either of the first two Tests badly then England will be “staring at whitewash territory”.

3

Ashes squads in full 

Australia squad
  • Pat Cummins (captain), Steve Smith (vice captain), Alex Carey (wicketkeeper), Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mithcell Swepson, David Warner
England squad
  • Joe Root (captain), Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood 

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