THE ASHES: TV channels, schedule, team news - All you need to know

The Cricketer provides all the information ahead of the five-match Test series between England and Australia

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What is it?

The latest instalment of this great cricketing rivalry as England look to reclaim the urn from their rivals. England and Australia have been competing in the Ashes since the 1882-83 series, with the latter winning 33 and the former 32 of the 70 series that have been played between these two nations.

Australia are the current holders of The Ashes, having reclaimed them with a 4-0 series win on home turf in 2017-18.

What's the schedule?

FIRST TEST: Edgbaston, Birmingham (Thursday, August 1 - Monday, August 5)

SECOND TEST: Lord's, London (Wednesday, August 14 - Sunday, August 18)

THIRD TEST: Headingley, Leeds (Thursday, August 22 - Monday, August 26)

FOURTH TEST: Old Trafford, Manchester (Wednesday, September 4 - Sunday, September 8)

FIFTH TEST: Kia Oval, London (Thursday, September 12 - Monday, September 16)

What are England's chances?

It's the question which everyone is asking, and quite frankly one that many would have hoped would have been cleared up after the Ireland Test match.

However, with England trying to make further history this summer by following up a maiden World Cup triumph with regaining The Ashes, there was no clearer indication of how England would go about doing so against Ireland.

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Will Chris Woakes get the nod on his home ground in the first Test?

While the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes were given a well-deserved break, England's batting failed once for large parts of both innings and Lord's, particularly in the first when little resistance was demonstrated as they were bowled out for 85. 

Questions regarding the batsmen's temperament have been asked for a few years now, and their display at Lord's did little to appease fans ahead of the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston starting on August 1, with Trevor Bayliss strongly hinting at a change in the top order.

The series is therefore likely to be bowler-dominated, and if England are to have a realistic chance Jimmy Anderson, who should recover from a calf injury in time, Stuart Broad, who has looked off the pace in county cricket so far this season, and Chris Woakes will all have to bring their A game throughout the series.

However, to what extent England's batters can resist the heat from Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood will ultimately decided whether England can reclaim the urn.

Who's in and who's out?

England named their squad for the first Test at Edgbaston on Saturday, and there were no huge surprises.

Jofra Archer was called up for the first time to the Test squad after his excellent performances in the victorious World Cup campaign and his recovery from a sore side.

Ben Stokes was also reinstated as vice-captain as part of the announcement and was recalled to the Test squad alongside the man he replaced in second in command, Jos Buttler.

However, there was less good news for Somerset duo Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach, who were both left out despite the latter's excellent performance against Ireland and the duo's consistency in the County Championship this season.

Jason Roy and Olly Stone, who made their debuts against Ireland, both retained their places, while England are also optimistic that James Anderson will overcome a calf problem to be fit for August 1.

England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

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Will Jofra Archer make his England Test and Ashes debut in Birmingham?

What about Australia?

For a side that has such rich cricketing history, a failure to triumph on English soil since the 2001 series has hit Australia hard over the following years.

Captaincy and leadership may have changed hands, but this side very much possesses the quintessential qualities of an Australia side.

Their pace attack contains the raw pace of Mitchell Starc, the energy of Pat Cummins and the accuracy of Josh Hazlewood. Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft have all re-entered the fold after 'sandpaper gate' and form part of a strong batting unit that welcomes back Usman Khawaja from injury, the highly talented Marcus Harris and the dogged Marnus Labuschagne.

The latter has been plying his trade with Glamorgan so far this summer and is one of many allrounders in the squad, with Michael Neser the only new name to be called up.

Australia may not have selected Alex Carey for the series, but there is still plenty of danger in both departments to cause England problems on all surfaces.

Australia will feel confident that their batting is more settled than England's, but it will be up to the bowlers to match the strength of their English counterparts if they are to taste victory here for the first time in 18 years.

Australia squad: Tim Paine (c, wk), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner

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Glamorgan's Marnus Labuschagne is one of a few allrounders in the Australia squad

How can I follow it?

The games will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Cricket (Sky 404, Virgin 504, TalkTalk 405) in the UK, while radio commentary will be provided by Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (DAB, online via the BBC Sport website and through the BBC Sounds app).

The Cricketer's social media channels will have updates throughout the day, with reaction to follow via our website after play has concluded.

What if I fancy a bet?

England are favourites to reclaim the Ashes, with Joe Root's men at 10/11 for a series win with some bookmakers, but Australia are not far behind and are available at 9/5 to retain the urn, while a series draw is at 13/2.

To celebrate England winning the World Cup you can subscribe to The Cricketer for just £20.19. Click here to learn more

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