One familiar foe to the Barmy Army is ex-Aussie international seamer Peter Siddle, 36, today embarks upon another County Championship campaign with Essex, when they take on Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
In an interview the Daily Mail, Siddle, who ranks number thirteen out of Australia's all-time Test wicket-takers, was asked to give his opinion on whether England s veteran bowling pair Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will still be able to deliver the goods this winter.
He contended: “Jimmy (Anderson) proves age doesn’t matter. England have looked after him and he sets a great example of what can be achieved.
“Why shouldn’t he and Broady play in the Ashes? A hundred per cent they will be there. I know England want extra pace in their attack this time but if you look at Australia bowlers over the years, there are not loads of out-and-out fasties.”
Siddle continued: “Yes, there’s been Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson in recent years, but lots like me, too. Look at Glenn McGrath. He wasn’t exactly rapid, but he didn’t do too badly.
“You need different types of bowlers. If England pick the right squad, you will be right up there with a chance. I think your blokes will put in a feisty challenge.”
England's Test side have a busy summer ahead of them, with a two-match series against New Zealand set to take place in June, followed by a solid five Tests against India - a side who beat England 3-1 in a highly-entertaining series earlier this year.
Australia also lost a Test series in India back in January, and currently sit in third place in the ICC men’s Test team rankings, one place ahead of England.
When pushed on his prediction for this winter's highly-anticipated series, Siddle revealed: “It will be an unbelievable series because England will want to hit back (from Australia retaining the Ashes in 2019), and Jimmy and Broady will put it all on the line to finish with a win. I’ll go 3-1 Australia.”