I've been resisting blogging about the Ashes, there's a million and one bloggers out there debating the whys and wherefores of the next few months, but I can't contain my excitement that with all the guff out of the way, the cricket is about to begin.
At half two tomorrow morning, when I will be fast asleep, England will take to the field with either bat or ball in hand to face a pretty decent Western Australia side at the Waca. And despite the boxing efforts of Chris Tremlett and Jimmy Anderson, it'll be a full squad that Strauss has to choose from.
Whatever side they go with, and presumably it'll be the one that ended the series with Pakistan but for one difference, Ian Bell slotting into the middle order in place of Eoin Morgan. And unless someone has a real mare over the next three weeks, that'll probably be the side that starts the first test in Brisbane, despite Sachin Tendulkar recently naming Eoin Morgan as a potential key player.
So come tomorrow morning when I finally rise from my slumber we'll have the first idea of how England are shaping up for probably the biggest series of their lives. Western Australia will field a few classy players, North, Marsh, Ronchi, Pomersbach and lets not forget ex-Surrey man Steve Magoffin so they'll be no pushovers.
Will Anderson be able to put what feels like the most oft-quoted stat of all time (his bowling average of 82 in Australia) behind him? Will Steve Finn continue his meteoric rise? Will Kevin Pietersen score any runs - and will he get out to a left arm spinner? There's basically another one of those to go with pretty much every player bar Graeme Swann.
Whatever happens, tonight's goings on will be picked apart relentlessly by hacks either side of the equator so I'll enjoy absorbing all that tomorrow. I just hope England score a ton of runs, or take a bag of wickets - and most importantly - avoid any injuries!
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