El Nino can help Oz win Ashes series?
Sydney: A study led by an Indian origin meteorologist in Australia has predicted that the recent El Nino event in the country can help the Ricky Ponting-led team to win back the Ashes this summer.
According to the study led by Manoj Joshi, a climate scientist at the University of Reading, when playing at home, Australia wins the Ashes far more often in summers preceded by El Nino conditions during the first half of the year.
El Nino is associated with above-average Pacific Ocean temperatures and lower than average rainfall across south-eastern parts of Australia.
Dr. Joshi said that the condition results in drier soil and harder cricket pitches, allowing Australia’s fast bowlers to generate more pace and bounce.
“All things being equal, in an average El Nino year, with an average Australian side and an average England side, the conditions should favour the Australians,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dr. Joshi, as saying.
The study looked at average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean between January and June to predict the results of Ashes series held in Australia the following summer.
It found that when ocean temperatures from January to June were above average, indicating El Nino like conditions, Australia won 13 out of 17 series, while, when ocean temperatures were below average, they won only five of 13 series.
The last time England tasted Ashes victory in Australia, despite El Nino conditions, was in 1932-33.
The first Test begins in Brisbane on November 25, and will be followed by matches in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.