On Wednesday, December 8, the cricket world will rise to the sights and sounds of the iconic Ashes series, played between the oldest foes in the game, Australia and England. In olden days, the teams sailed by big boats to Australia and England; these days it’s all flying visits. After 144 years of daggers-drawn like contests — the first Test was played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground Bowl in March 1877 and Australia won it by 45 runs after the home team’s Charles Bannerman scored the first century with a 330-ball 165 with 18 fours — Australia lead with 146 wins (95 at home) from 351 Tests. England has won 110 and 95 have ended in a draw. The last Test was played at The Oval in London in September 2019 and hence after two years and more, Australia with fast bowler captain in Pat Cummins and England with champion batter in Joe Root will lock horns at Brisbane’s Gabba in a bio-bubble secured environment. The two captains pressed a red button around a replica of the Ashes Urn to launch the Vodafone Ashes Series at the Gabba, the 81st in 144 years. The Ashes fever will grip the cricket aficionados for 41 days till the fifth Test that’s scheduled to end on January 18, 2022. Former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie has predicted a 3-0 win for Australia.