A red Dukes ball. English weather, green pitches and questionable techniques. It's hardly a hot take to suggest that an Ashes series in England is likely to be decided by whoever bowls the best, however in 2019 this seems to be even more applicable than usual.
Both sides have huge depth in their bowling attacks. England can call up on their two most successful new ball bowlers of all time with James Anderson and Stuart Broad with Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Olly Stone, Sam Curran and the new rising star Jofra Archer whilst Australia boast a strong trio of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood with Peter Siddle and James Pattinson also part of the touring party. With that level of strength with the ball, even the effect of the pitch and weather conditions will be lessened as the techniques and dedication of the batsmen put to the test.
And when you consider the strength of the batsmen involved it really does all start to add up towards a bowler's series. Aside from a few key batsmen in each side, both sides will feel confidence they can force a collapse from the opposition. Joe Root, Steve Smith and David Warner are probably the only three wickets that will carry a major level of importance in each side, whilst there are plenty others capable of chipping in. There's enough weaknesses in those batsmen to stop bowlers panicking if they get going.
For batsmen though, this series provides a unique opportunity. Of course it isn't a no-pressure environment - after all it's an Ashes series - but there is still less expectation than previously. Batsmen aren't expected to do well here, runs here will be at an absolute premium. Any batsman who can pile the runs on this summer will be writing themselves into the history books and will prove themselves to be deserving worthy of being discussed as one of the best in the world.
Whether this lack of balance is good for the game is a different debate, but if I was a spectator I wouldn't be in any rush to pick buy tickets for the fifth day of any of these tests.