The first Test in Brisbane starting on Thursday (November 23).Hughes, who captained legendary firebrands Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, believes Australia’s start-studded attack, which also includes underrated offspinner Nathan Lyon, is their best for some time. “The attack is as good on paper as Australia have had in many years,” he says. “Starc’s bowling to the tail is as good as anyone in the history of the game. Cummins bowling around the wicket could be really dangerous and add another dimension.
“Lyon constantly keeps things tight but also takes wickets,” Hughes adds. “He could be the difference between the two sides because I’m not sure if England’s spinners will be able to keep it tight.”
“If Stokes doesn’t play at all, then I think Australia will win 5-0,” he predicts. “It is a huge blow for England because he is a genuine match-winner and stabilises the middle and lower order batting allowing Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali to play more freely.
“If Stokes does come back in time for the Perth Test then the series could take a major turn,” he adds.