Firstly, I hope all of you good reader's or Aussie cricket supporter's like the new Logo for 'The Baggy Green, Chirps & Quick Singles', to promote the Ashes 2009!
Secondly, the good news is that all our squad members have joined forces in England, where they are hard at work in preparing for the biggest event in Test match cricket!
According to Brad Haddin, our wicket-keeper who will be making his official Ashes debut stated; "We've done a lot of loading while we were up there. We've had some pretty intense days. It's been good. We've given our quicks and everyone else a chance to get outside in some outstanding conditions. We got a lot of volume now."
It hasn't been a smooth run for us over the past 2 years, but the team have started to find their places within the line-up, and most importantly I believe many under-estimate the raw determination and intensity of this team.
Certain player's are starting to feel like they belong in this team judging by their performances, rather than appearing like a quick-fix to fill the void of the post-Warne/McGrath era.
As a supporter I can say I have well and truly moved past that era and just want to support the emerging players in the team so they know supporter's feel they are meant to be there!
The high intensity is within the player's you have maybe only had a few televised doses of!
This will be a very epic and hard-fought Ashes encounter, folks forget about Twenty20 cricket, down to the wire ODI matches, as this series will have hype, action and the drama too! The teams are evenly balanced, but on the right day I have very little doubt, in fact no doubt, that the men wearing the Baggy Green caps are the stronger side!
I am not going to play England down, as which ever team arrives first to prove a point will be walking away with momentum on their side.
Great news is that Mitchell Johnson is swinging the Duke ball and add's to his game plan tremendously, Phillip Hughes' batting preps are tightened up and ready for destruction upon the Poms, Nathan Hauritz will have a massive opportunity in his career should he get the nod to make an appearance in the series and Peter Siddle, well I reckon he's got some vicious plans of his own! I am also going to be inclined to look at Ben Hilfenhaus from a threatening perspective when the young Tasmanian gets that ball in his grasp!
Every guy in this team has an X factor they bring to our side, and if every bloke can dig deep and hold a consistency within their abilities it will be a good series.
The seniors have a massive role to play. Despite their experience and having experienced both the dominant chapter of Australian cricket and the slightly "darker" times in recent months, it is safe to conclude that the seniors, backed by an ambitious young group of Test cricketer's heavily focused on proving themselves to the opposition, well, it is a recipe for victory! In my books anyway.
There is also speculation that the prolific Kevin Pieterson may miss a big part of the Ashes. Whether it is a bit of build-up on KP's part or genuine truth regarding the achillies, we will know soon enough!
The fact Andrew Flintoff is looking good to play in the series is exciting too, as well as the fact England on considering a slightly bigger group of potential candidates to appear at Cardiff for Test call-up.
A sign of panic, worry or a contingency plan on the factor of conditions?
With both teams out of the ICC T20 event, the Ashes is now the focus for the players and supporter's and I am counting down the days till D-day, where we begin our campaign to defend the Urn for 2009!
That's my latest chirp on the Ashes notes. As always more to follow!