Exclusive Interview: Geoff Miller – Predictions For The 2017/2018 Ashes
The Ashes mark the pinnacle of an Englishman or Aussie’s cricketing career and is arguably the greatest competition, not just in cricket, but in sport worldwide. Ever since the two nations first fought over the urn back in the late 1800s, each test series has been tightly contested with both countries having their fair share of success.
To date, both England and Australia have 32 wins to their name, meaning whoever is victorious in 2017/18 will edge ahead in the record books. This year, Australia will play host to the competition and England will certainly be hoping they can make amends for their defeat in 2014, the last time they visited the country.
Who is Geoff Miller?
One man who knows everything there is to know about cricket and the Ashes is Geoff Miller OBE.
Between 1976 and 1984 Geoff played in 34 tests for England and 25 ODIs. A fantastic spin bowler, he took 60 wickets during his eight-year international career. One of his most memorable moments as a player came in the 1982/83 Ashes campaign. In the fourth test in Melbourne, Geoff made the catch which helped England win the test by just three runs.
Once his playing career came to an end, he remained active in the game and between 2008 to 2013 he was an England selector. Following Geoff’s incredibly successful career, he took to the speaking circuit to share the highs and lows of international competing. An entertaining and insightful after dinner speaker, attendees of his speeches receive a backstage pass to the world of cricket, from the perspective of a true icon.
Q: How do you think the current team captain, Joe Root, has performed so far?
“I think he’s done very well; the team are certainly going in the right direction both in test and one day cricket. The recent ODI victory over the West Indies was superb and a really entertaining game, but the Ashes will be tough - they are playing Australia! I think the vital factor will be how our batters deal with their bowlers in their own country.”
“If there is any question marks it will be over our batting order. There’s a couple of areas there that are susceptible, and it’s how they cope with [Australia’s] bowling attack, which is pretty good especially in their own conditions that they’ll be used to. You could say home advantage might sway it, but I like to think that we have a bit of momentum now and quality players that give us a good chance.”
Q: How important will the initial matches be for setting up the rest of the event?
“They are absolutely huge. Those games will designate who bats where and give a taste of the Australian conditions, so preparing in the right ways will be very important. The selectors will be watching the players both technically and mentally and will know which players are best where.”
“Joe will be involved in that process as well because he will have a feeling about it, as will all the coaches behind the scenes.”
Q: The last time England defeated Australia was in 2005, the first time since 1987, what was that victory like for you?
“That was very special. It had been a long time and we had taken a lot of defeats by Australia. Some of the players at that time had played in a lot of series and had never won against them, so for some top players from English test cricket it was their first time.”
Q: What are England’s prospects at the Ashes 2017/18?
“I think we can at least draw the series, if we play exceptionally well then we can pinch the series. It’s up to those players to perform to their maximum ability and that will give us a chance.”
Chris joined the Champions Speakers team as a Digital Copywriter in February 2018. He is responsible for writing and optimising content across five websites, as well as increasing the profiles of our speakers through PR and celebrity speaker intervie... Read more
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