Wednesday will be Australia's first chance to clinch the Ashes back from England, when they meet in the first of three T20s at Chelmsford. The second will be at Hove on Friday and the third at Cardiff on Monday.
But will England manage to take the series beyond Wednesday's game? The odds don't look good. The Aussies are the current World T20 Champions, having retained the title they first won back in 2010 when they beat New Zealand. In 2012 and 2014 they beat England in the final. They are currently on an unbeaten run of 16 T20 games, which started back in March 2014 against South Africa on their way to their third World T20 title. It is true that during that time they have only played England once (in the final), but they will be keen to extend their run.
As warm-up for these games Australia travelled across to Dublin and took on Ireland. They won all three games comfortably, as you might expect, but it was genuine game time. England by contrast have been ensconced in Loughborough and have apparently played a couple of warm-up games against a young Northants Boys XI. They are now down in Chelmsford where the rain has meant they are in the indoor nets.
The only changes to the England squad are the recalling of the two Danielles - Misses Hazell (actually Mrs) and Wyatt, who come in for Kate Cross and Fran Wilson.
Hazell is England's leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket with 65 wickets in 60 games, but the sparky and intelligent 27 year old seems to be out of favour with the England management for some reason. She looked good with the ball in hand for the EWA in the warm-up games against the Aussies, but she is not the most mobile of fielders and her batting has not been any great shakes this season.
Wyatt is a conundrum. She scores plenty of runs in county cricket, both 50 over and T20 and she is great in the field, with a magnificent arm from the boundary. Originally she was an off-spinning all-rounder, but her bowling went through a lull in 2013 and 2014 with the England skipper having no real confidence in her ability to bowl an over without a bad ball in it.
As for her batting England never seem to have really decided how to make the best of her with the bat. Early on she was promoted up the order, almost as a pinch-hitter, but this failed. She was then shoved back into the middle/late order before she again appeared in the top order against the Aussies in 2013 at Chelmsford (28) and Southampton (0). But by Chester-le-Street she was back to number 6. In the West Indies later that year she started the first two T20s at 7, but was then promoted to open for the next three (37, 13 and 12). She kept the spot for the Ashes T20s in Australia early the next year, but had a miserable time (6, 0 , 6). She was back to 7 for the South Africa T20s last summer and down to 8 in New Zealand, where she did not get to bat at all, in three games. Over the last five years she has played in 56 T20s for England with a top score of just 41 and an average of just 13.16. Quite where she fits into the current England set-up (if at all) is a matter for conjecture.
I think England will start with Winfield, Edwards, Taylor, Sciver, Elwiss, Greenway, Knight, Brunt, Gunn, Hazell, Shrubsole.
As for the Aussies they seem to be in a bit of a quandary over who should open with Elyse Villani. Nicole Bolton is not a T20 player, so Jess Jonassen seems to be the left-hander of choice. But she does not seem to like the position that much and I think someone else may get the role, possibly Healy or Perry. Somehow they will also have to accommodate rising T20 star Grace Harris. She is only here because T20 specialist Delissa Kimmince pulled out of the tour through injury, but Harris impressed in Ireland with her clean hitting and her tidy off-spin, and the Aussies will be keen to blood her against tougher opposition prior to the T20 World Cup next year.
It is difficult to see England getting close to winning any, let alone all three, of the T20s, but one person can win a T20 all on their own. Do England have such a player? They probably do. Are they likely to actually do it though? Probably not.