Okay, now we now almost certainly know what, barring injuries, the England line-up will be and can make a decent stab at the Australian side, lets have a look at how the sides compare to the sides in 2005 as they entered the series (ie without taking in to account the performances in the series)
- Trescothick 2005 vs Cook 2009...its close, both have technical problems and Trescothick had a poor record against the Aussies pre 2005, but Cook also had a poor series last Ashes and his deficiences are harder to hide...Win to 2005
- Strauss 05 vs Strauss 09...have to give it to 05, Strauss was averagin 55 going in to that series and had a great series in SA. He's come back well from being dropped but still not the same expectation.
- Comparing Bell 05 with Bopara 09 is about even, both had few tests, scored runs against limited attacks.
- Vaughan 05 vs Pietersen 09, 09 wins this one, KP is a class batsman whereas Vaughan was merely a good test batsmen albeit with a great previous record against Aus.
- Collingwood 09 vs Pietersen 05, Pietersen had yet to play but he'd scored runs against the Aussies in the ODI's and had a fanstastic FC record. Collie is a decent test batsmen nowadays. Slight win for 05 imo.
- Flintoff 05 vs Flintoff 09. 2005 win easily, even though Flintoff had his best series ever in the Ashes, his form leading up was still a lot better than it has been of late
-Jones 05 vs Prior 09 - I'll give this to Prior, Jones had a poor series in South Africa, Prior has a very decent record (to date).
- Broad 09 vs Giles 05 - Win to Broad, Giles made valuable runs at time, but I think Broad has shown more as a batsmen and Giles hardly ever went beyond a handy 20/30 (had 3 fifties, 2 of which were against Zimbabwe, with a top score of 52)
- Tail 05 vs Tail 09 well Swann>>>any of the bottom 3 of 05, tend to think Jimmy>Hoggard in terms of nightwatchmanness, so i'd say win to 09.
Flintoff 05 vs Flintoff 09, win to 05...if Flintoff had been fit and bowled well against the West Indies I might be inclined to say we would expect more from him now than we did pre Ashes in 09, as it is i think the 05 flintoff has the edge.
Harmison vs Broad - Two bowlers on different trajectories, Harmison was on the way down in 05 (from the heights of 04) whereas I think Broad is on the way up (from the low of 08) however, i think Broad of 2010 might cross with Harmison of 2006..so win to 2005
Hoggard vs Anderson - close one, Hoggard had a good series in South Africa, Anderson has a decent run of form. Might call this a draw, Hoggard was great in swinging conditions but I think Jimmy looks like he would take advantage of them as well. Jimmy might have the edge in non swinging conditions but Hoggard probably wouldn't bowl as much in them. Draw
Jones vs Onions - win to jones, even ignoring what he did in the Ashes he had a longer period of test match form against better oppostion.
Swann vs Giles - Inclined to go for a draw, I certainly think Swann can match the output of Giles in 05, not sure whether we can expect any better.
Like being given the choice of sleeping with the queen or camilla it doesn't make much difference.
Hughes vs Hayden - Close, don't think you could take Hughes over Hayden but might just go for a draw, some people might have predicted Hayden's struggles but I don't think you could have expected it. Hughes just looks so damn good.
Langer vs Katich 09 - Win to 2005 in this i reckon, Katich has gone well as an opener, but Langer had done it for longer and with just as much success.
Ponting 05 vs Ponting 09 - inclined to go for a draw in that one, still has very few weaknesses beyond just top class bowling.
Hussey 09 vs Martyn 05 - Draw again, Hussey still has a great record despite struggling of late and Martyn was considered a very very good player going in to the Ashes.
Clarke 09 vs Clarke 05 - Clarke is a much better player now, win for 09
Katich 05 vs North 05 - Draw again, Katich had a good record in 05, North has made a good start and has decent experience in English conditions
Gilchrist vs Haddin - Win to 2005, Gilchrist still averaged over 50 going in to the series IIRC, Haddin has had a good start but not the level of Gilly.
Johnson vs Warne - You'd have to go for Johnson, Warne had a great series with the bat but on prior form Johnson easily.
Lee 05 vs Lee 09 - Draw, not sure you can call either way
Tail - Gillespie, Mcgrath vs Clark, Siddle - suppose its advantage 05 with Gillespies limpetness.
Clark vs McGrath - win to 05, expect Clark to be very good but he's not Mcgrath
Gillespie vs Johnson - Johnson, Gillespie might have been on the decline, but you still would have expected him to do better than he did, Johnson appears to be on fire though.
Lee 05 vs Lee 09 - have to call it a draw as Lee will be coming in off not that much cricket and his place not really that secure, in 05 he wasn't necessarily secure in his place either
Siddle vs Warne - not comparing like for like but still i'll give the win to 05.
Win to 05 in my opinion, Gilly matured into a very good keeper, Haddin not at his level (yet)
I think England 09 possibly have a worse top six and slightly stronger lower order, the bowling is much weaker. I see Australia's batting as about the same as 05, with their bowling slightly weaker.
Obviously this is as it was at the start of the series and doesn't take in to account what transpired
Thoughts? (apart from tldr)