By Jim Birchall

As the bi-annual tussle for sport’s most bizarre trophy begins, I briefly examine the series through the eyes of a neutral.

Once again I am torn between supporting our ugly, brash, arrogant older brother, and the teabag loving colonial oppressor.

After the usual sniping and tete-a-tete between ex-players on twitter, the on-field duel begins November 23.

In anticipation of a track at Brisbane as hard as John McClane and drier than Gandhi’s sandal, runs should come at ease. Pressure will come on England’s rookie batting line up.

I foresee a truckload of poles for the pockmarked school bully Starc, and several mid-series retirements from Cook, pretty boy Broad, and Overatedson. The latter occurring when he works out the Kookaburra doesn’t swing under clear Adelaide skies.

ashes-win-final-wicket
England celebrate after clinching the ashes in 2015

By test 3, the Shermanator (Ian Bell) be summoned from a bleak Birmingham and Colly, a la David Steele will be a middle-order mainstay despite being older than Michael Parkinson.

KP will again inform us he should still be part of the three Lye-ons and end up de-friending someone on twitter.

4-0 Australia, with rain in Sydney