Michael Vaughan feels that the three warm-up matches might be just too much for the English side    Getty Images
Michael Vaughan feels that the three warm-up matches might be just too much for the English side Getty Images

With still over a month to go for the Ashes 2017-18 to get underway, the preparations and the road to the build-up to the series will be fully underway when England travel to Australia. England will be playing three warm-up ties at Perth, Adelaide and Townsville before the opening Test at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 23. Meanwhile, former England skipper Michael Vaughan said that the three warm-up matches might be just too much for the English side as he fears that the players might get fatigue even before the series officially goes underway. It would also be an additional challenge for England, who are already unsure of Ben Stokes’s participation in the series. Ashes 2017-18: Jonny Bairstow comfortable batting up the order

“That period of the three warm-up games, in a players’ mind, feel like Test matches because of the exposure. Every little moment gets built up, one spell of bowling or one score and you are pushed into contention for the team. Yes, the first Test is massive but it’s the preparation that can drain a player. I’ve always said that to be a successful player across an Ashes series, you have to have an egg-timer, this ability to keep turning it over. If you allow the sand to drop all the way through with your emotions, not taking your mind away from the series, by the first or second Test you’ll be drained,” said Vaughan, as reported by ESPNCricinfo.

“You have to be able to switch on and off because it’s thrown in your face everywhere you go, but those players who can take a little step back – get into something different – will probably stand the test of time over a five-match series,” he added. Ashes: Tough job for ECB to fly Stokes out to AUS, feels Mark Taylor

Vaughan also doubted if the England players would be given their freedom in Australia or shall be confined to their hotels. “If you arrive in Australia and it’s all about that first ball in Brisbane, then it becomes a long three-and-a-half weeks. They have to play cricket, focus hard, but also enjoy being in Australia. I hope the incident with Ben Stokes and Alex Hales doesn’t put the team into a reclusive nature. Professionalism is key. There’s a time and a place to go out and have some fun, but also to know when to put your cricket hat on. But I think they should be out playing golf, going to restaurants, mixing with the public,” said Vaughan.

It would also be Joe Root’s first assignment as skipper in the Ashes. However, Vaughan feels it would be individual performance that would matter in the series for success, and not just be limited to Root’s captaincy. “I’ve always been a big believer that leadership of teams is over-egged, I don’t really know anyone who can lead 20 people. The process of winning as a team begins with the individual. I’m looking at the team – if Stokes does go – I look at eight players of high experience, high quality and another eight who have been selected, and it’s not being disrespectful to them, but there could have been another eight instead of them, then another eight. It was just a debate,” he said.

“You look at the eight experienced players – Cook, Root, Ali, Bairstow, Stokes if he’s there, Woakes, Broad and Anderson – I wouldn’t say I’d put all my focus into those eight as a captain, because you have to make sure the others are in fine fettle, but for England to win those eight have to be on their game,” he concluded.