Ian Bell picked out the weaknesses in Australian side    Getty Images
Ian Bell picked out the weaknesses in Australian side Getty Images

As Australia and England approach the 2017-18 Ashes, the verbal battles have begun. Cricketers, both current and former from both sides, have released statements to the media that prove how charged up the cricketing fraternity are. Ian Bell joined the verbal battle, claiming that Australia would be nervous going into The Ashes. He also pointed out the fact that Australia still do not have everything sorted out, including their wicketkeeper and bowlers. Bell backs England in the quest for the urn as he believes there will be more pressure on Australia to perform in front of home crowd.

Nervous hosts: The Australians will be nervous, even though they like to give off the impression of being fearless. That s a massive front. There will be more (pressure) on Australia losing at home than England losing away, Bell told The Daily Mail.

Unanswered questions: Australia don t know who their keeper should be, they don t know what their bowling line-up is. Despite all the talk, the fact is that people like Pat Cummins have never played five games in a row in their lives. They have four world-class players David Warner, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood what about the rest? There s [sic] a lot of question marks.

Ashes 2017-18: Jonny Bairstow comfortable batting up the order
Ashes 2017-18: Jonny Bairstow comfortable batting up the order

Underdogs: There is nothing to lose for this young England side. When we won in 2010-11 we went under the radar a little bit and I sense this team has the same kind of feel. Not a lot of people are giving them a chance and that means they can go about their business quietly.