New Delhi: The big Ashes series to be played between hosts Australia and England is just a few days away and predictions are coming thick and fast. West Indian great Viv Richards has predicted that without their talisman all-rounder Ben Stokes, England will be there for the taking for the Aussies. While England currently hold the Ashes trophy, Australia blew them away by a 5-0 score-line the last time the series was played in Australia.

Cricket.com.au quoted Richards to be saying, “I’m a fan of Ben Stokes. England do need that allrounder with a little bit of heart, also stomach into the game as well, solid physically, and I think you’re going to need all this stuff Down Under. The Aussies, in my opinion, they bring it.”

He added, “Having someone like Stokes, who’s pretty strong in himself about how he feels, the confidence he brings, is going to be crucial Down Under. Without Ben Stokes Down Under, the English team is going to look like kittens.”

It is interesting that both teams have won the Ashes 32 times each. It will be the 70th Ashes series this time around as five series have also been drawn affairs in the past.