Australia news March 29, 2013

'England not as good as they think' - Steve Waugh

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Steve Waugh believes England may fall victim to hubris in the forthcoming Ashes series, suggesting that Australia's bowling strength means Michael Clarke's team needs to only find a handful of decent batting performances to regain the urn.

Australia's nightmarish tour of India has lifted English confidence to stratospheric levels, leaving Ian Botham to speak for many when he remarked that "this is the worst Australian team I can remember". However, Waugh took a brighter view of Australia's prospects provided the selectors showed faith with the players they had identified to succeed.

"I think England aren't as good as they think they are," Waugh said at the New South Wales end of season awards night in Sydney. "I honestly think we can win the Ashes. We've got the bowlers to take 20 wickets. If that's the case you can win any Test match. It just needs a couple of batsmen to find a bit of form.

"Shane Watson, I think, has the potential to be a really great Test batsman, if he can step up to the mark along with Michael Clarke and some of the younger guys. I like the look of Phil Hughes, he's got something deep within him that makes him a long-term Test player; we've got Dave Warner.

"There's enough talent there, we just need some confidence in that line-up and if we follow on from the damage the bowlers are going to do, I think we can win the Ashes."

The results in India have brought a rush of pessimistic predictions and a vast array of prospective Ashes squads, but Waugh counselled those in charge to persist with the players they had chosen. Waugh is not directly involved with Australian cricket presently, but did sit on the Argus review panel that introduced a raft of changes to the national team's structure in 2011.

"I think we're just going to have to have patience with the current team," he said. "It reminds me a lot of 1985-86 when I first came into the Australian side. It took us a couple of years to know how to win ... 13 Test matches before I played in a winning Test side; 26 Tests before I scored a century. So, we've got to have patience in the side, believe in who we've got. We have to pick and stick for a while."

While presenting the medal that bears his name to the young Blues paceman Gurinder Sandhu, Waugh also posited the view that women's cricket had advanced to the point that Cricket Australia should consider instructing Big Bash League sides to include one female player in each squad. Alex Blackwell was named the NSW women's cricketer of the year for 2012-13, while the retiring Lisa Sthalekar was also honoured.

"I think it's about time where we could have one female player per Big Bash side," Waugh said. "Going forward, I can't see why the girls can't have representation in the Big Bash. It's a bit out there, that thought, but I think it might be time."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Nampally on March 29, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    The problem with the OZ team is their batting. They need 4 good reliable batsmen to produce consistently good scores with 2 centuries between them. This will enable others to chip in with useful scores. In England, the OZ pace attack will be more effective (than in India) with Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Siddle & Starc. Lyon is an effective spinner. However their batting is very unreliable. Only Clarke is producing big scores. It cannot be one-man show. England batting has at least top 5 who are batting well. WK prior saved England vs. NZ. Cooke, KP, Trot & Bell have been doing consistently well. If the OZ can match these 5 with 5 of their own batting stars, then they stand a good chance. England is a determined side & will not fold that easily on their home territory. I like to see Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke match the England top 4. If they do the game is ON.

  • siddhartha87 on March 29, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Australia must learn from their mistakes. They should not select likes of Maxwell,Smith or Henriques in playing XI.I have no doubt that they have potential.But it's test cricket.You need specialist batsmen and bowlers to do the job.Six specialist batsmen with a good keeper batsman is the way to go.It's difficult judge the likes Hughes from only one series.I feel he is the who can go a long way.He has the potential to end his test career with a 50+ average.Shane Watson is a world class bowler of pace.He must open the innings.He doesn't want to open?Well in that case make him bat at no 6. Cowan should bat at no 3.Australian pace bowling is top class.ben Hilfenaus is good a choice in English conditions. Pattinson and Siddle are proven workhorses.Spin is a area of concern for the Aussies. Lyon must take more wickets in day 4 and day 5 pitches.Oval test will be a good test for him.

    My playing XI- S.watson,Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,Khwaja,Wade,Siddle,Patinson,Hilfenhaus,Lyon.

  • on March 29, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Even though I am a strong supporter of AUS, I do not agree with Steve Waugh's assessment. ENG had become the greatest escape artist in Test Cricket; be it the 2nd Test of 2005 Ashes, or 1st Test of 2009 Ashes, to the most recent 3rd NZ test. They have shown that winning is not all, saving tests is nearly as important. They had not become #1 without a reason. They truly deserved that top spot.

    Yes, Pace resources of AUS are many, but their fitness is a problem. Furthermore, ENG bowling is not all weak -- I would still rate it higher than AUS pace bowling. Spin-wise, ENG is waaaaaay ahead. Batting-wise ENG is certainly ahead of AUS (not waay ahead, but certainly ahead). I do not see ENG losing Ashes in ENG summer, may be a (remote) possibility in AUS summer.

  • crafty-Rabbi on March 29, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Conditions in England will vastly improve the Australian bowling attack. In India they looked mediocre. England only have one consistently good seamer, Jimmy Anderson. But his pace is dropping even though this has been offset by a growth in craftiness.

    Swann is unlikely to be bowling at his best after having elbow surgery. Finn and Broad leak runs and are not consistent. Occasionally they produce a 5 wicket or 6 wicket haul but then bowl another 7 or 8 mediocre innings.

    Pietersen has been pretty poor over the past 18 months. Cook, Prior and Trott have looked solid and reliable. Bell and the other batsmen have not fared well. Compton is still a work in progress.

    Clarke offsets Cook, Watson may get a 50 or two but his concentration usually fails shortly after. I do not rate "One shot" Hughes. Ditto for Cowan. Warner seems fragile in this format.

    It will be closer than the Indian series 1-0 or 2-0 to England with the batting being the decisive difference. But Monty has to bowl well.

  • srikanths on March 29, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    I agree with Steve waugh. With OZ the problem is the batting. I think in Pattinison ( a fit one), Starc ,Siddle and Bird or Hilfenhaus or Harris , they have a pace attck which is a bit better than English'.Nathan Lyon has gained from Indian experience . Anderson is a world class performer but Broad and Finn are not so consistent. If OZ can get their batting in place , it would be great. Phil Hughes would do well to take inputs from SRT and Watson from Dravid (when they have their IPL games)for success in England. SRT may be past his best but he is one who can give good inputs. Of course , they have past OZ greats like Ponting , Hayden etc who can help out.It wud be great to see OZ back in the top fold.

  • on April 5, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    If England play Australia on low bounce turners, playing both Swann & Panesar, they can win 5-0.

  • cric_J on April 3, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    He has helped England to win the Ashes (twice),to gain the no.1 spot and to win in India after 28 yrs.Compare these contributions to Siddle's and tell me what has Siddle done for Australia ?? To my mind a bowler who wins matches for his teams is a much better one than the one who has a good average and strike rate.And so I prefer Jimmy .You may critisise him all day and quote all stats but he remains one of the best in the world at the moment. And he is here to stay for another 3 years or so. I am an Indian so I am not biased towards England. Don't know what others believe but to my mind Mcgrath remains the best seamer ever and Steyn the best at the moment.There is NO denying that.And even though I dearly want Jimmy to be better than Steyn, I know that it is not gonna happen.

  • cric_J on April 3, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @Meety I have already agreed that Jimmy was not at his best in the NZ series.He looked tired and had his ankle strapped but that is no excuse and is beside the point.Now if you start pulling out every series and every match then I am sure That Siddle too would have struggled aplenty.What I am sayng is that he has had the ability to deliver (atleast 80 % of the times, if you like that ) when it has mattered in the last 5 years or so.The SA series was a blip though.You may remember his 4-51 in Adelaide dismantled the Aussie top order and his 4-44 in Melbourne cleaned up the middle order, not to mention his 7 wickets in the match in Sydney that sealed the deal.He was good in UAE too but was not helped by some pathetic batting.His five-fer against SL was a high class one.Be it his 21 wickets against India in England or his late spells in Kolkata and Nagpur that were atreat to the eyes let alone the wickets, he has been the key reason behind England's succeses.

  • Meety on April 3, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @cric_J on (April 2, 2013, 9:28 GMT) - stats don't tell you everything, however, there is no way you can glean from your comment how on Earth Anderson gets "..wickets at the right time to help your team win..." when Oz has a better win/loss record than England. Where was Anderson's key wickets v NZ? Bear in mind, that Siddle has never played against Bang or Zim (Anderson has 4 tests). Anderson has recently been lauded by the England press as being as good as McGrath & recently 90% of England fans wanted to say he is as good as Steyn. If Siddle matches Anderson in wickets per Test, (exc Ban & Zim), outpoints Anderson in terms of average & S/Rate & marginally ahead in E/Rate wouldn't that suggest he is better than Anderson? If Sth Africa re the pace setters in world cricket Siddle has 10 Tests & 38 wickets @ 31 & a S/R of 70 & E/R of 2.65 against Anderson 17 Tests & 57 wick. @ 38 & a S/R 71.5 & E/R of 3.2. (Siddle has distinctly better wickets p/match ratio too). Siddle >Anderson - just!

  • Meety on April 3, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    @ thebrotherswaugh on (March 31, 2013, 22:22 GMT) - you stated that "...Cowan must be the luckiest Australian opening batsmen of all time..." - yet here is a list you should consider; 1. G Wood 2,958 runs @ 33.6 2. G Marsh 2,819 runs @ 33.6 3. V Trumper 1,650 runs @ 33 (unfair to list as batting was difficult in his day) 4. B Laird 1,341 runs @ 35 (a bit unfair as he was a WI specialist! But Zero 100s) 5. A Hilditch 1,072 @ 31.6 (but at least he went on to be a great selector - not) 6. J. Burke 1,071 @ 34.5 7. J. Dyson 1,050 @ 26.3 There were others with more runs @ an ave around 35. So the point being, is that have been been plenty of times in the past where an ave around 35 is passable. Cowan's worth was greater when our middle order was Huss & Clarke, as he provided a buffer. He could be worth his weight in gold should Oz choose to blood young batsmen in the middle order like Burns or Doolan.

  • Nampally on March 29, 2013, 20:43 GMT

    The problem with the OZ team is their batting. They need 4 good reliable batsmen to produce consistently good scores with 2 centuries between them. This will enable others to chip in with useful scores. In England, the OZ pace attack will be more effective (than in India) with Hilfenhaus, Pattinson, Siddle & Starc. Lyon is an effective spinner. However their batting is very unreliable. Only Clarke is producing big scores. It cannot be one-man show. England batting has at least top 5 who are batting well. WK prior saved England vs. NZ. Cooke, KP, Trot & Bell have been doing consistently well. If the OZ can match these 5 with 5 of their own batting stars, then they stand a good chance. England is a determined side & will not fold that easily on their home territory. I like to see Warner, Hughes, Watson, Clarke match the England top 4. If they do the game is ON.

  • siddhartha87 on March 29, 2013, 8:46 GMT

    Australia must learn from their mistakes. They should not select likes of Maxwell,Smith or Henriques in playing XI.I have no doubt that they have potential.But it's test cricket.You need specialist batsmen and bowlers to do the job.Six specialist batsmen with a good keeper batsman is the way to go.It's difficult judge the likes Hughes from only one series.I feel he is the who can go a long way.He has the potential to end his test career with a 50+ average.Shane Watson is a world class bowler of pace.He must open the innings.He doesn't want to open?Well in that case make him bat at no 6. Cowan should bat at no 3.Australian pace bowling is top class.ben Hilfenaus is good a choice in English conditions. Pattinson and Siddle are proven workhorses.Spin is a area of concern for the Aussies. Lyon must take more wickets in day 4 and day 5 pitches.Oval test will be a good test for him.

    My playing XI- S.watson,Warner,Cowan,Hughes,Clarke,Khwaja,Wade,Siddle,Patinson,Hilfenhaus,Lyon.

  • on March 29, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    Even though I am a strong supporter of AUS, I do not agree with Steve Waugh's assessment. ENG had become the greatest escape artist in Test Cricket; be it the 2nd Test of 2005 Ashes, or 1st Test of 2009 Ashes, to the most recent 3rd NZ test. They have shown that winning is not all, saving tests is nearly as important. They had not become #1 without a reason. They truly deserved that top spot.

    Yes, Pace resources of AUS are many, but their fitness is a problem. Furthermore, ENG bowling is not all weak -- I would still rate it higher than AUS pace bowling. Spin-wise, ENG is waaaaaay ahead. Batting-wise ENG is certainly ahead of AUS (not waay ahead, but certainly ahead). I do not see ENG losing Ashes in ENG summer, may be a (remote) possibility in AUS summer.

  • crafty-Rabbi on March 29, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    Conditions in England will vastly improve the Australian bowling attack. In India they looked mediocre. England only have one consistently good seamer, Jimmy Anderson. But his pace is dropping even though this has been offset by a growth in craftiness.

    Swann is unlikely to be bowling at his best after having elbow surgery. Finn and Broad leak runs and are not consistent. Occasionally they produce a 5 wicket or 6 wicket haul but then bowl another 7 or 8 mediocre innings.

    Pietersen has been pretty poor over the past 18 months. Cook, Prior and Trott have looked solid and reliable. Bell and the other batsmen have not fared well. Compton is still a work in progress.

    Clarke offsets Cook, Watson may get a 50 or two but his concentration usually fails shortly after. I do not rate "One shot" Hughes. Ditto for Cowan. Warner seems fragile in this format.

    It will be closer than the Indian series 1-0 or 2-0 to England with the batting being the decisive difference. But Monty has to bowl well.

  • srikanths on March 29, 2013, 5:23 GMT

    I agree with Steve waugh. With OZ the problem is the batting. I think in Pattinison ( a fit one), Starc ,Siddle and Bird or Hilfenhaus or Harris , they have a pace attck which is a bit better than English'.Nathan Lyon has gained from Indian experience . Anderson is a world class performer but Broad and Finn are not so consistent. If OZ can get their batting in place , it would be great. Phil Hughes would do well to take inputs from SRT and Watson from Dravid (when they have their IPL games)for success in England. SRT may be past his best but he is one who can give good inputs. Of course , they have past OZ greats like Ponting , Hayden etc who can help out.It wud be great to see OZ back in the top fold.

  • on April 5, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    If England play Australia on low bounce turners, playing both Swann & Panesar, they can win 5-0.

  • cric_J on April 3, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    He has helped England to win the Ashes (twice),to gain the no.1 spot and to win in India after 28 yrs.Compare these contributions to Siddle's and tell me what has Siddle done for Australia ?? To my mind a bowler who wins matches for his teams is a much better one than the one who has a good average and strike rate.And so I prefer Jimmy .You may critisise him all day and quote all stats but he remains one of the best in the world at the moment. And he is here to stay for another 3 years or so. I am an Indian so I am not biased towards England. Don't know what others believe but to my mind Mcgrath remains the best seamer ever and Steyn the best at the moment.There is NO denying that.And even though I dearly want Jimmy to be better than Steyn, I know that it is not gonna happen.

  • cric_J on April 3, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    @Meety I have already agreed that Jimmy was not at his best in the NZ series.He looked tired and had his ankle strapped but that is no excuse and is beside the point.Now if you start pulling out every series and every match then I am sure That Siddle too would have struggled aplenty.What I am sayng is that he has had the ability to deliver (atleast 80 % of the times, if you like that ) when it has mattered in the last 5 years or so.The SA series was a blip though.You may remember his 4-51 in Adelaide dismantled the Aussie top order and his 4-44 in Melbourne cleaned up the middle order, not to mention his 7 wickets in the match in Sydney that sealed the deal.He was good in UAE too but was not helped by some pathetic batting.His five-fer against SL was a high class one.Be it his 21 wickets against India in England or his late spells in Kolkata and Nagpur that were atreat to the eyes let alone the wickets, he has been the key reason behind England's succeses.

  • Meety on April 3, 2013, 6:00 GMT

    @cric_J on (April 2, 2013, 9:28 GMT) - stats don't tell you everything, however, there is no way you can glean from your comment how on Earth Anderson gets "..wickets at the right time to help your team win..." when Oz has a better win/loss record than England. Where was Anderson's key wickets v NZ? Bear in mind, that Siddle has never played against Bang or Zim (Anderson has 4 tests). Anderson has recently been lauded by the England press as being as good as McGrath & recently 90% of England fans wanted to say he is as good as Steyn. If Siddle matches Anderson in wickets per Test, (exc Ban & Zim), outpoints Anderson in terms of average & S/Rate & marginally ahead in E/Rate wouldn't that suggest he is better than Anderson? If Sth Africa re the pace setters in world cricket Siddle has 10 Tests & 38 wickets @ 31 & a S/R of 70 & E/R of 2.65 against Anderson 17 Tests & 57 wick. @ 38 & a S/R 71.5 & E/R of 3.2. (Siddle has distinctly better wickets p/match ratio too). Siddle >Anderson - just!

  • Meety on April 3, 2013, 0:08 GMT

    @ thebrotherswaugh on (March 31, 2013, 22:22 GMT) - you stated that "...Cowan must be the luckiest Australian opening batsmen of all time..." - yet here is a list you should consider; 1. G Wood 2,958 runs @ 33.6 2. G Marsh 2,819 runs @ 33.6 3. V Trumper 1,650 runs @ 33 (unfair to list as batting was difficult in his day) 4. B Laird 1,341 runs @ 35 (a bit unfair as he was a WI specialist! But Zero 100s) 5. A Hilditch 1,072 @ 31.6 (but at least he went on to be a great selector - not) 6. J. Burke 1,071 @ 34.5 7. J. Dyson 1,050 @ 26.3 There were others with more runs @ an ave around 35. So the point being, is that have been been plenty of times in the past where an ave around 35 is passable. Cowan's worth was greater when our middle order was Huss & Clarke, as he provided a buffer. He could be worth his weight in gold should Oz choose to blood young batsmen in the middle order like Burns or Doolan.

  • Meety on April 2, 2013, 23:26 GMT

    @SirViv1973 on (March 31, 2013, 11:56 GMT) - downplay Siddle all you like, but to dismiss his average as he has taken less wickets than Anderson is flawed. I am not going to sit here & bag the preverbial out of Anderson, BUT you said "... I think you will also find that siddles record is a bit lopsided he tends 2 do a lot better at home than away whilst Anderson is far more consistent.." the REVERSE is more accurate. Siddle has a home ave of 27 & away = 32, Anderson at home ave is 28 & away is 36. How is that NOT lopsided? There is a 7 ball differential in Siddle's S/R (E/R is even), whereas Anderson has an 11-ball differential & his E/R is 10% WORSE away. IF Siddle had only 50 test scalps - you couldn't compare the two, the reality is though - he has 150. That is historically a decent sample size. BTW - Siddle's career ave is SIGNIFICANTLY better NOT "slightly" better, Anderson's stats only compare well to Siddle if you remove the 1st half of his career.

  • cric_J on April 2, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    @Lyndon Mcpaul I am not one to talk in terms of statistics but since you and a few others have made the bizzare suggestion that Siddle is better than Anderson, I decided to have a look.Siddle has played 41 matches and taken 150 wkts.Jimmy has played 80 and taken 298 , that is if he has played double the no. of matches he has also taken double the no. of wickets.Coming to economy, it is 3.00 and 3.10 and the strike rates are 57.6 and 59.2 respectively.Not much difference there either.Siddle averages 28.8.Nothing pretty incredible like below 25 so that he can be called better.But look ahead.Jimmy has got 17 four wicket hauls and 12 five wicket hauls compared to Siddle's 5 and 7 respectively.You may have a perfect average but you need to have a knack of getting wickets at the right time to help your team win.Something where Anderson pretty much pips Siddle.

  • Shaggy076 on April 2, 2013, 8:00 GMT

    Cric_J ; Your right, the only way we would be able to make those aspersions is to see how the series plays out. Then pass comment. I do object to the term ficticious - perhaps you could have used assumed. Lets see how the series go then we can all comment. I believe Steve Waughs entire article is simply Australia if they play at there best can match England and win the Ashes. Even from his writing you can tell that England are favourites. So many people have not read the article and jumped on the England vs AUs band wagon simply by only reading the headline. Hopefully it will be a good series.

  • cric_J on April 2, 2013, 4:52 GMT

    @ sir Viv1973 Totally agree with you. Just what I have been crying about amongst all the " Aussie attack better than England's " rubbish based merely on averages ! What aussie fans do not understand is that you may have loads of skill and talent but it is a different issue altogether to go out there and deliver, especially in a high intensity series like Ashes. Not for one moment am I underestimating Aussie seamers. But the claims that they will outbowl England seem highly fictitious. Take Onions for example.He has done consistently well in the domestic circuit but failed miserably on the international front. Aussie seamers (barring Siddle) just haven't played too many matches to be called better than Jimmy and Broady. So all this jabbering about their being better based on averages and strike rates and economy doesn't hold much water.

  • Iamnotboredofcricket on April 2, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    The irony is is that Australia ARE as good as we all think. That is, not that good at all. The fruitless comparison of England and Australia has some weight I suppose when you compare their most recent competition against the same opponent, so India. England win hands down on that score. But really, we all know The Ashes adds an edge, and being an Englad supporter we all know Australians always gain an extra X% playing us, and probably England lose a few % because of the "aura"... On paper/points whatever, England would probably shade it, mostly due to their batting. But it'll be close, neither team will be that dominant. Australia are weaker on the batting without a doubt and the bowling is probably more or less equal. All we need is McGrath to come out with 5-0 and the usual pre-Ashes rhetoric will be complete! Waugh is showing himself to be as bad as Botham when it comes to this sort of rubbish.

  • SirViv1973 on April 1, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    @Lyndon McPaul, I still don't really see how you can compare the 2 attacks given that Siddle is the only Aus bowler likely to feature who has played a significant amount of games. Bird has no test record to speak of, 2 tests at home against the same SRL team who have just struggled to put away bang at home doesn't really count for anything. In terms of Pattinson Once he has taken 100 plus test wickets he will do very well to keep his ave below 25. Sadly in Harris case he will not reach a 100 wickets due to his brittle body, I don't know where this ' aus new ball bowlers who ave over 25 would be dropped' thing is coming from' To my mind in recent years only Mcgrath & for a period Clark managed it. However in years gone by Aus batsman would have been expected to ave at least 40 something which only one of the current bunch is currently able to do.

  • on April 1, 2013, 12:05 GMT

    show your faith in the team, i mean every wicket we played in at india turned stayed low or spat at a length, it would take years to learn to play in conditions over there, they has spinner bowling almost 100km and spinning it at pace drift and uncertain bounce, we just couldnt handle it at the time, and i guess if this team in the near future will play india in india we will do much better, but now the ashes are coming this is a big chance to redeem themselves, we are heavy underdogs so England have all the pressure on them to clean us up but we can have the element of surprise, Pattinson Starc Siddle have to lead the attack, Lyons will be a much better bowler from his last test series, bring Harris there too for back up, if Watto was bowling then it would be perfect, so were looking for a solid allrounder, i think we should give smith and Maxwell alot of warm up games to see who performs the best, people dont see the potential those 2 have but they have something special, just wait.

  • Sandt on April 1, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    You cannot Watson really. I think AUS have not used him properly.Shuffling him from opener to middle order and the poor guy is confused about his batting now.I cant believe AUS is doing this. We can understand Indian team doing this but AUS doing this is ridiculos.Give him a permanant position to bat.Then if he is not performing let him go.He has been scoring decently previously even not scoring bug hundreds.But he is a good player to have.

  • Hammond on April 1, 2013, 10:14 GMT

    @Zycr9- I dunno mate, England winning 3-1 at home with 3 INNINGS wins seems to tick my boxes in relation to having the "measure" of a cricket side, that and the fact that since 2005 England have actually won 3 ashes series to Australia's 1.

  • iamgroot on April 1, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Steve Waugh is absolutely right. England is very very lucky side. But the cracks will begin to show once they face Australia and in later series. Having watched Australian team over the years it is foolish to think for anyone to say they have had the measure of Australia. It doesn't matter that they lost a series in India. India is always a tough place to tour. Australian team just needs to back their strengths. They need 4 good consistent batsmen and 2 very very good bowlers to take control of this Eng team. Lyon is very good bowler and if he is given enough confidence he should do well. Australian Pace attack has enough sting. But then again bowling right line and lengths is very important. I am eagerly waiting to see how a wounded Aussie team will come back strong in familiar conditions against Eng team. My support is firm with Aussie team. They need to get selection right and no more "home work". What they need is groundwork on the field. Get the basics right.

  • cric_J on April 1, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    Just on what basis exactly do certain people here believe Australia have a better bowling attack than England ?? If it is based on averages, I must say that all Aus seamers (barring Siddle) have played 10 to 15 matches only.So you can' t actually compare them to people like Jimmy and Broady who have played more than 60 or 70 based on "averages".Stats like averages or even raw pace do not win you matches anyway.You need to take 20 wickets and run through sides to do that. And if things are not working out you need to have a plan-B , which Jimmy and Broady would be much better at.Agreed that Aus pacers have shown immense promise.BUT ONLY IN AUS (or NZ).They were average in SA and pathetic in India, barring a few spells.And you need ALOT more than one good spell or two to WIN a match.Their biggest test would be consistency (and not breaking down...).And I don't even need to mention that Swanny is the best spinner at the moment( and NOT Ajmal who gets wickets only in helpful conditions).

  • pm2133 on April 1, 2013, 5:08 GMT

    Watson is NOT a test batsman. He has had years and years to prove otherwise. I am sick and tired of people talking about Watson's 'potential'. If he had any we would have seen the results by now. Time to start looking at people for whom the word potential is far more accurate.

  • thebrotherswaugh on March 31, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    Cowan must be the luckiest Australian opening batsmen of all time. Heaps of people seem happy with his performances thus far - 17 tests, 30 innings, 987 runs @ 32.90 average, 1 x 100, 6 x 50's, HS 136. In any other era in recent times, he would not have been good enough and may have struggled to make the state sides (back when the Sheffield Shield was very strong). The sad thing is, there's no one else that's any better, so we're stuck with him. Phil Hughes will play an integral role in ENG batting at #3 - if he starts well, he can provide the platform for the rest of the batting roster and take some of the pressure off his captain. If he fails, then the middle order will be exposed early (opening stands will be poor on the whole), and without Hussey to keep them afloat, it will once again come down to the tail to score half of the runs. I can't see Watson, Warner, Cowan, or Wade having good series. Khawaja is viable, but can he perform at this level under such pressure?

  • thebrotherswaugh on March 31, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    As most of the comments show, ENG have the advantage in the batting/WK department, but the bowling department is fairly evenly contested. ENG also have the advantage in experience - short term advantage there, but they will struggle within the next 2 years or so as they are forced to bring through younger fellas (can't have it both ways and very hard to maintain the balance of experience and youth). The loss of Hussey cannot be overstated - were he still playing, I would be reasonably confident that we would be very competitive - it's no coincidence that we lose the 1st test series post Hussey 4-0 in a whitewash. Some of the other batsmen MUST step up. Whether they have the ability to do so is the big question.

  • KK47 on March 31, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    Disastrous tour of India may work in favour of Australia in a way that they have seen the worst. Last time they got whitewashed ~25 yrs ago, most of the current team was not even born! I think most of them grew up in Aus dominance years, so this Ind tour would have shaken them up big time. They are at rock bottom now and the only way is upwards. Eng on the other hand had to depend on Monty from a humbling series defeat. Eng also not in good form. I also hope this ridiculous DRS rule is abolished. It only complicates the game and just kills of all the excitement when a wicket falls.

  • cric_J on March 31, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    To everyone here who has been assesing England and Australia's chances of winning the Ashes based on the tour to India, I would like to say that it is simply of no avail !England's conditions are probably most different to India's among all the test hosting nations ! I am an English fan and I know that England's and Australia's performances in India can't even be mentioned in the same sentence.England were simply great and Aus simply horrid.But that in no way would affect these teams when they play in England. It is a pretty weird comment by Waugh.England are probably the most grounded team after SA.IT IS NOT THE ENGLISH PLAYERS WHO ARE OVERCONFIDENT BUT PROBABLY THE FANS,COMMENTATORS AND MEDIA AT TIMES. I would be mighty surprised if England do not reatin the Ashes.They have a much better batting lineup.And for all of Aus potential in pace bowling,I don't see those youngsters being pretty consistent throughout and outbowling Jimmy who will be the key to Eng success to take 20 wkts.

  • Bax1 on March 31, 2013, 15:28 GMT

    Why doesn't Steve Waugh expand his theories and suggest a few of the members of the Womens World Cup team actually play for the Australian Mens Test Team - it would definately improve it because it can't get any worse.

  • AKS286 on March 31, 2013, 14:28 GMT

    @ sando31 on (March 31, 2013, 14:07 GMT) OMG this is very unfair how you miss the name of lyon. Ok LYON- the world's best ever spinner in the history of cricket (a spinner who can bowl reverse inswing but the pace is low). khawaja- Avatar of Bradman. and you strike power can strike with the bat too yipee.

  • sando31 on March 31, 2013, 14:07 GMT

    Alright, lets set the record straight!!!! Attention all Eng fans, i can understand why you mock our batting, it's very weak and ver inexperienced. But, in saying that don't mock our pace bowling. Our battery is far stronger than yours and, if they can keep form and stay fit can have the ability to smash your batting line-up( WACA 2010/11)

    Pattinson- Strike power, Starc- Strike power, Harris- Strike power, Johnson- Strike power, Siddle- consistency, Bird- consistency

  • AKS286 on March 31, 2013, 13:44 GMT

    This type of statement from Waugh clearly tell us that Aus is not able to win. They already have the mindset of loosing. Oz batting is no where when we compare to Eng. the only hope of Australia is Pace bowling (It does't mean Eng Pace bowling is below). England's minor issue is Third seamer, Broad is very inconsistent and back bench is out of form but sure if Onion get a chance in playing XI then he will deliver his best. Aus is having many problem like Opener, middle order, clarke's batting order, clarke's & arthur's order, no respect for seniors, player bias ness , highly highly overrated players, WK problem, captain's ego problem with senior players, spin problem, management problem, perception problem, selection problem etc.

  • on March 31, 2013, 13:11 GMT

    I Think OZ Have What They Want In India i.e Experience in tough condition and about team i think Steven Smith shows lot of character in his two test... and team should have right and left hand batsman combination in this team i find 6 left hand batsman in the team. Other aspect is Mitchell Johnson is best combination with any Spinner Proof Is 4th Test when Lyon And Johnson Bowl In Combination. Usman Khawaja other batsman who didn't got chance in this tour. If you ask me my Squad for Australia is:- M.Clarke,E.Cowan,D.Warner,P.Hughes,U.Khwaja,S.Smith,M.Wade,G.Bailey,B.Haddin,M.Johnson,S.Waton,B.Hilfenhaus,J.Pattinson,M.Starc,R.Harries,N.Lyon,P.Cummins

  • on March 31, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    @sir viv...Dont get me wrong..an average of 30 is good for a support bowler but it should be of concern that he is Englands best! You were saying that Anderson always takes the new ball...well that would then give him an advantage over Siddle who always comes on first change with an older ball yet Siddle has a better average. So Siddle is at the moment getting more wickets for less runs with an older ball than Anderson though he isnt a strike bowler! THIS IS THE SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE IN BOWLING BETWEEN AUS AND ENGLAND! An Australian strike bowler who doesnt average at least under 30 wouldnt be considered good enough to take the new ball in an Australian Side. James Pattinson,Ryan Harris and Jackson Bird have all performed right from the outset in almost every test they have played at the level of a genuine strike bowler and in conditions generally less helpful than English conditions. It would be a brave man to bet against that trend continuing!!

  • SirViv1973 on March 31, 2013, 11:56 GMT

    @lyndon mcpaul, sorry mate but your theory dosent really stack up, Harris & pattinson have such good stats because they have not played that many test matches. The only new ball strike bowler in the game 2day who has over a 100 wickets & ave under 25 is steyn. Also Anderson always takes the new ball 4 eng and in regards 2 siddle, his overall ave is slightly better than Anderson but has played fewer games & taken fewer wickets. I think you will also find that siddles record is a bit lopsided he tends 2 do a lot better at home than away whilst Anderson is far more consistent

  • Rakudubai on March 31, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    England dont have to be "as good as they think" to beat the current Aussie team .. even a English team "as bad as Steve thinks" will rout the Aussies...

  • Greatest_Game on March 31, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    @ Popcorn. At last - an Aussie who calls Warner out as unreliable & a no good test opener. I've said it before, but Warner worship has made most Aussies blind to his rash play exposing the middle order. And he has a big foul mouth that does Aus no good. I agree that Aus bowling is better than (so called ) Eng pace - as long as your delicate little fellers don't break down, again, & again. Swann is not really a threat. Tahir out bowled him - he he he!

    Apart from that, I still think you are full of it! Not Jonesy/Randy moronic, or whiney like Marcio, but still... The SA loss REALLY got you lot wound up, but an India drubbing & some common sense is back. Hope it stays!

    Poms are at it again, & getting worse. They shut up after SA spanked them, but 1 India win & they are losing it, conveniently forgetting NZ. Anderson worship is nauseating & Front Foot Dunce the no. 1 cricket moron, Hammond a close second.

    Sad that the Ashes is now the struggle for 2nd place, but its amusing for Saffas

  • Edwards_Anderson on March 31, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    I hoping that between now and the start of the ashes series,the CA selectors will take a broader view at the selection table,including the two states that fought out the Sheffield Shield final -Tasmania and Queensland.But considering not one Australian selector bothered to go to the final then I think it will be a bit of a fluke if they do decide to look at other players and take them into account.If I was to pick a Ashes squad now,this would be my team: Warner Watson M.Clarke U.Kawaja Smith M.Wade Henriques J.Pattinson R.Harris P.Siddle N.Lyon Reserves- C.Hartley- Faulkner N.Hauritz A.Mcdermott

    Obvious that Khawaja is an important player to bring in given his good record for Derbyshire where he helped them win division 2 last year but notice i have included Faulkner, Hartley, Haurtiz and Harris to the lineup. This should cover most bases.

  • ThemanID on March 31, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    I don't think england would be daft to get super green pitches, I mean still for fast bowling but not the usual ones. Except some spinning ones too for swann & Monty vs lyon

  • popcorn on March 31, 2013, 8:56 GMT

    Steve Waugh,you beauty!Master of Mental Disintegration, architect of many a crushing victory over the Poms,you should be our Team's Mental Conditioning Coach. The next John Buchanan. Judging from the way England struggled in New Zealand,almost lost,and geographically NZ is Down Under too, I am pretty certain Australia will beat England this summer. We've got a far better pace bowling attack than England -both in English conditions and ours.Our spinners are not as good as Swann, but they will come into the picture ijn the 3rd and 4th innings only,unlike the totally dissimilar dust bowls of India.Ed Cowan and Usman Khawaja are steady.I'd like to see them as Openers. David Warner is undependable as an opener. Fit for ODIs and T20 only.Phil Hughes is easy meat for the Poms - they need tto take only 18 wickets to win if he is in the Side. Shane Watson has GOT TO IMPROVE HIS BATTING. Rob Quiney is a better player.Recall Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey. Regaining The Ashes means a lot to them

  • getsetgopk on March 31, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    Yea, the mental disintegration or whatever is not going to work here, England got Jimmy, Broad, Finn, Trott, Cook, Bell, KP, Swann and Prior, they are going to give the Aussies a beating of a life time and just like Boycott said, we are all going to enjoy it LOL

  • on March 31, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Aussies shouldn't be written off by one 4-0 drubbing on dead subcontinental wickets. Agree this Aussie side has some issues but England would be making a big mistake with they are hampered by over-confidence. I still believe Aussies can regain Ashes if they play to their FULL potential.

  • on March 31, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    india scored nearly 500 in every innings. our bowlers never looked like taking 20 wickets. let alone 10. face the facts. australia has a hell of a long way to go.Lyon is a lost cause. it should b 5-0 to england as well

  • on March 31, 2013, 6:31 GMT

    So you say Steve,but our batting is as bad as we think it is.Maxwell for one,must never play test cricket again.I did'nt mind Henriques' first test innings or second for that matter,but Watson's pathetic Indian tour has me wondering.He got starts most times then blew it with no 9 attempted hoiks over leg,midwicket or wherever like S.Waugh used to do,but nowhere near as successful.If Michael Clarke can't do ashes tour we are gone gone gone,if he retires we totally f....d. Thanks Andrew Hilditch & company for leaving Australian cricket in it's current state.It may need people like Steve Waugh to resurrect it and aim it in the right direction

  • pull_shot on March 31, 2013, 6:19 GMT

    aus r worst than they think

  • AKS286 on March 31, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    The conclusion is Eng is gonna whitewash Aus in upcoming Ashes. Some very ordinary below avg mediocre batsman will sink Aus due to lots of expectations from highly overrated players. Talk factful things instead of perceptual predictions. the whole The comments are like this- Wade, Clarke, Khawaja, Siddle, Lyon, MJ, Bird, Starc, Harris, Pattinson, doherty.

  • on March 31, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    I reckon Khawaja would make a great impact on England pitches but..

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 31, 2013, 3:06 GMT

    My playing 11 for the Ashes: Watson, Warner, Silk, Clarke, Smith, Khawaja, Wade, Harris, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson.

  • Sinhaya on March 31, 2013, 2:57 GMT

    I think England are clear favorites. Looking at the English batting lineup, I just cant see them failing twice. At least 2 of the batsmen are likely to click. Aussie batting looks far more vulnerable at the hands of the English bowlers.

  • on March 31, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    What if, what if England introduces a spinner friendly pitch and let Swann and Panesar operate in tandem? Equations would certainly start to look a bit different, won't they? Also, England has shown in India that their batsmen are far better players of spin than Aus's.

  • TheBigBoodha on March 31, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    @creekeetman on "(Watson) he is a number 6 at best, how is'nt that clear yet?" What is clear is that you have never watched Watson bat or looked at his statistics. He averages 43 as a test opener, WAY above his stats for batting down the order. He is a superb player against the new ball. Where are the stats for his batting at number six? There aren't any, because he has never batted there! I just wish people would actually think before they wrote stuff here.

  • crh8971 on March 31, 2013, 2:00 GMT

    Australian fast bowling I believe has both more quality and depth than the English have. I think we have 7 or 8 very good bowlers from whom to choose a squad of 5 to take on the tour. This gives us a chance of taking 20 wickets on a consistent basis. The batting however is a real problem. Only one of the current squad, Clarke, would have been a certain selection over the past ten to fifteen years. England have a very stable to 7 with Cook, Trott, KP, Bell & Prior all being solid performers and certain selections which has enabled them to bring in Compton & Root in a way that gives them a real chance. To me Watson has had enough chances to be good, let alone great, and shouldn't go on the tour. We need to pick what we believe to be the best 6 batsmen with the keeper at 7 and then the best 4 bowlers. If we can get 10 overs per day from the batsmen that should be seen as a bonus not a necessity.

  • tjsimonsen on March 31, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    So what Waugh is saying is basically this: If Watson starts to bat like Clarke, he will be a great batsman. Wow, that's the stuff of genius! Following that line of logic: if Hughes starts to bat like Bradman, he will be the best no 3 for more than 50 years. And if Warner develops the skills of Berry Richards... And so on. But the problem is that in the real world, none of them have so far shown the consistency or class needed to succeed. Australia's pace attack is good, and probably slightly better then England's because of the reserves: I was at the Prime Minister's XI against WI in Canberra this January and was particularly impressed by McDermott. He was definitly the fastest bowler on show (including Tino Best), and he can't even get close to the side. But England's Batsmen and spinners are above Oz's. And unless we get a summer like 2011, spinners are likely to play a onsiderable part in the series. It's not quite enough to take 20 wicket, you need runs to defend as well.

  • on March 31, 2013, 0:01 GMT

    Australia don't have any bowlers!!

  • Chris_P on March 30, 2013, 23:25 GMT

    @landl47. I have just read where Bird is back in light training & that CA wants him to play at least a month of county cricket so they must see him as an integral part of their plans. This should provide an interesting composition for the squad or they can elect to have players on standby in the county system for call-up. Also interesting is to see which county side will pick him up, any ideas?

  • Mary_786 on March 30, 2013, 23:19 GMT

    @Mitty some very good points, well put.

  • hycIass on March 30, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    @Ali_86xz good analysis mate, i also agree with you that KHawaja should get his chances and based on Inevarity's comments in the last few days it seems he will be a big part of our ashes batting attack and that's fantastic news. Wiht him, Warner and Clarke in the top 6 our batting will develop into a formidable one in the coming years. For the bowlers, I would have Harris, Bird or Stark for Johnson. As for Haddin, I watched him during his match against India. He is smooth but ponderous Brian. He fumbled as much as Wade during the early matches and is quite frankly significantly slower than Wade to react. Some of the glovework by Wade in the last test, despite the dropped catch sitter, was outstanding. I compared it with Haddin's movements and the latter would not have got close to some of those efforts. I would stick with Wade with Paine as second choice.

  • Shaggy076 on March 30, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    I think everyone is reading way to much into the comments. Steve Waugh has said if our batsman can fire then we can win. Pretty obvious statement really, he hasnt declared us winners. As for England arent as good as they think they are is a comment at recent articles from Vaughan and Botham. It definetely isnt the best AUssie team but world cricket standard isnt that high at the moment. AUstralias firm track form recently has been very good. Steve Waugh hasnt declared Australia winners or even favouries for that matter but has been optimistic in Australias chances. I cant see why anyone has taken offence to these comments. Of course Australia has a chance, we would all see England as favourites. When England recently came to AUstralia COok was a dud, with quite a poor record. On that series he performed well above expectation having a bumper tour. Since then he hasnt looked back - all it takes is for a couple of AUssie batsman to have break out tours like this and we could win.

  • Wefinishthis on March 30, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    Mitty2 - Absolutely correct. I think you're one of the ones here who actually 'get it'. Shame you're not a selector. When read correctly (ie taking into account quality of opposition, pitch/weather conditions, player's age, games played, recent form, team balance etc), bowling averages are one of the best predictors of the outcome of a series. I also want to point out where everyone has gone wrong in writing off Glenn Maxwell. He was in fact our best bowler in India with an average of 27.57 and an unbelievable strike rate of 35.1! He did better in India than Shane Warne! The facts are: Maxwell (27.57), Pattinson (27.77), Siddle (33.88), Lyon (37.33), Doherty (60.5), Smith (63), Henriques (77.5), Starc (100), Johnson (0/60). What people don't understand is that the number of wickets means nothing if that bowler was expensive and Maxwell and Pattinson were our only two bowlers who actually performed.

  • Alexk400 on March 30, 2013, 21:36 GMT

    He is looking for light end of tunnel. I am seeing one. :). Aussie management made a mistake of not playing kawaja in India. If he played and normally asian players are good at playing spin because its natural tendency of any player who lacks power and gravitate towards touch batting and angling the ball. If he played and made a century it would have great boost for his confidence. Now they play him against england he may not score well at all. I think Aussie needs to have players who can replace starters in the team and with confidence and very eager. Instead we have broken down mentally kawaja who wonder he will ever get chance again. he will get chance when odds are against him in worst condition. he may succeed. But i doubt it. Aussies needs to blood under 19 players now. I rather see new blood than these current crop who are kinda journeyman looking players who wll disappear off the map soon.

  • ygkd on March 30, 2013, 20:57 GMT

    Australia's batting will continue to have problems as long as there's so much short-form in junior levels. From the 10th birthday to the 17th, a talented young bat could easily play a couple of hundred games and well over 90% of them would be short-form. Even at 16, when 50 games in a season is not impossible for a committed player with talent, batting at a decent level, they're almost entirely 20-50 overs stuff. Add on to that the number of times some bat on concrete pitches, adding to their score portfolio if not their techniques, and we have a recipe for the sort of hitting across the line, leg-out-of-the-way hoicks & shove-the-bat-at-the-ball defensive prods we see all too often. Therefore, if England & Australia are equal in that department, that doesn't say much for either. What we need are techniques and temperament. A comment designed to boost self-belief, when that's hardly been in short-supply, is no great help. Strap the pads on Steve, please, and let the bat do the talking.

  • aby_prasad on March 30, 2013, 20:50 GMT

    What did i say long back, and i still say, this Aus team is the worst , to tour india at least. But like i also said after that, this same Aus team will win the ashes or at least give a mighty scare to the English. It is not because England is worse than even this Aus team,but its because of the mindset. Mostly, except for the absolutely dominant Aus team and the wi team of earlier times, the wounded teams perform better. It is only cricket, or among one of the only sport, where even a higher ranked team can be defeated by a lesser team frequently. Cricket is a sport where mindset is of paramount importance. That & some strategic points are the reason I say this! But the only spoiler here is that England,after that almost unbelievable 'Great Escape Act' some days back!, might just have woken up from their lethargy(esp after good series wins earlier on).Otherwise, it would have been surely the Aus with their wounded tiger approach!..now its a bit more exciting though my money on aus!

  • on March 30, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Yea Steve, come from under that rock you were living for the past two years or so and get use to the one of the weakest Australian team ever! Bobby Simpson's second string team to the Caribbean was much better, and If 4 of the best batsmen in the world and three of the best bowlers don't bring you back to reality, nothing will. Not to mentioned the third best wicketkeeper/batsman.

    Didn't Ricky Ponting said the same thing for the past 2 Ashes????

  • Vinod_Fab on March 30, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    What would happen if ENG whitwash them in ENG as well as AUS..??. Did this ever happened??. Bowling wise AUS is fine but Ryan Harris would be good option than Mitch since Starc fulfills Mitch's place.. Pattinson ,Cummins,Starc,Harris,Siddle,lyon Batting wise AUS is woeful, Callum ferguson should fit in and Shaun Marsh can be tried since they tried with henriques too.. Warner,Watson,Khwaja,Clarke,Shaun Marsh,Ferguson(he can keep too),and steve smith Batting wise ENG is Rock solid,Compton(i wud prefer Root to open in ENG),Cook,Trott,KP,Bell,Bairstow and Prior Bowling wise ENG is fine but onions shud be drafted somehow.. Jimmy,Broad,Finn,Onions,Swann,Panesar My prediction is ENG winning 7-2.. Before that Champions Trophy is there.. I think Cook gonna become greatest captain for sure.. As far as for clarke it would be curtains.. :(

  • creekeetman on March 30, 2013, 18:18 GMT

    what is this severly warped belief that watson can be a great test batsman?? he is a number 6 at best, how is'nt that clear yet? other than that waugh is right, oz do have a good pace attack, and in english conditions can easily take 20 wickets, unless they bowl rubbish. the batsmen, pathetic as they were in india, should be a bit more capable in england as well... it should'nt be as one sided as some english fans think.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on March 30, 2013, 17:56 GMT

    If bowling averages decide everything, then England should pick Chris Tremlett (bowling average of 26.75), Rikki Clarke (bowling average of 15) and Ajmal Shahzad (bowling average of 15.75). World class. With 3 spearheads!!!!

  • Vinod_Fab on March 30, 2013, 17:55 GMT

    What Happened to all of you..!!.. 1. ENG defeated IND in IND, it's not scraping through it absolut thrashing..ENG as contended with 2-1, or else it wud hav defly been 3-1 der.. Whereas AUS got swept cleanly as musk melon in IND.. Point here i m making is ENG has resilience to win against top nation whereas AUS still needs to work in dark areas 2.SA in ENG--- If u all wud have watched that series clinically, ENG won more sessions than SA.. Only 1st test SA was dominant,then after that KP fantabulous knock,series was turned into ENG favour.. Did u all see the faces of Steyn , Smith ,Kallis , Amla ,Morkel..??.. Even steyn was mincing like whatttaa an unbelievable shot was that... KP 3rd test drop was ENG's mistake.. So SA vs ENG is neck to neck 3.ENG vs PAK in UAE--- Even though de result was like 3-0,but it was not at all thrashing.. ENG did decent there,just they took it lightly.. Aftermath,ENG thrashed PAK 4-0 in UAE.. So they proved it der.. ENG needs to manage KP in right way..

  • on March 30, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    The key Englishmen are Cook (prolific),KP (x factor),Prior(pivotal 7 spot), Anderson and Swann (quality bowler) .These guys are the key performers and cover the opening batting,middle order,keeping and lower order batting,pace bowling and spin in their respective roles.Also they are the settled stars of the team.The Aussies pace combo of Starc,Pattinson and Siddle is exciting and are key along with Clarke.If the pacemen fire,Australia will win as the confidence will rub off onto the batsmen.Aussie bowlers vs English batting then-bring it on!

  • fr600 on March 30, 2013, 16:37 GMT

    Whatever, England is significantly better than Australia nowadays.

  • AKS286 on March 30, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    Ali_86xz on (March 30, 2013, 14:31 GMT) I think Wicket keeper is also required in the playing XI. I just imagine a player who is not a permanent member and even not the replacement of injured player is having such a talent like Bradman, How much over rated is khawaja.

  • real26_03 on March 30, 2013, 15:26 GMT

    Yes Steve Waugh.. You'r Australian Team can win Maxwell,Smith,H enriques in the team!!

  • cricankul on March 30, 2013, 14:59 GMT

    I truly believe that australians will win the ashes ultimately.they have a lot of potential in their players.they only need a push to move ahead.they must have learnt lot of lessons in india.

  • on March 30, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    i cant believe steve waugh think like that england is the best after south africa in test match...they beat india in india after losing against pak in uae they learnt from their mistakes..i think they are going to crush ausralia in ashes sorry australian guys but its the truth

  • Ali_86xz on March 30, 2013, 14:31 GMT

    Khawaja should get more chances. Australia's pace bowling is really strong. They should use the likes of Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, and they should also keep Starc because of his good contribution with the bat he usually makes. Watson should bowl too. Lyon is the main attack for spin. He should expect to bowl around 30-40 overs for the likes of England's strong batting mainly with Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Prior, etc. Australia's batsmen have to stand up, it's now or never. The Australian line-up should be similar to this acc. to the players in form then. Hughes, Warner, Cowan, Clarke, Khawaja, Watson, Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Lyon. If one of the bowlers don't perform you have more to choose from, if one of the batsmen don't perform, you can use Smith as a back-up. It's a big Test for Australia. Now it looks more like 50-50. England have a strong batting line-up and World Class bowlers. It's going to be a good clash.

  • whoster on March 30, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    @Mitty2. Crikey - you make up enough conditions! Replace Lyon with O'Keefe (uncapped), and Siddle with Bird (2 home Tests against a weak Sri Lanka). Your 'obvious' selection of Harris conveniently forgets that he's got huge questions regarding injuries, plus the fact that he'll be 34 this year. I'll happily concede that the Aussie pace attack may be comparable to England's, but Swann's spin quality will give England the overall bowling edge. Apart from that, the gulf between the teams with batting and keeper/batsman could hardly be wider. To finish off with - this 'world-class' bowling attack you've rather idealistically chosen will have a combined Test haul of - wait for it - 98 wickets! Compared to you, Steve Waugh sounds highly pessimistic!

  • RednWhiteArmy on March 30, 2013, 14:18 GMT

    Even though its a 5 match series, im gonna go out on a limb & predict 6-0 to England.

  • Snyper.Doc on March 30, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    Typical ignorance. Doesn't matter if you previously lost a test series in alien conditions, 0-4 is demoralising to say the least. With incomplete homeworks hanging on Arthurs head, it is going to be a miracle to win a test against England. Are there huge stakes for Australia to win only Ashes? Then restore sanity through Hussey brothers, hodge. I am certain about some Aussie heads rolling after 3rd ashes test. England ain't as good and Aussies are mediocre!!!

  • 2.14istherunrate on March 30, 2013, 13:34 GMT

    If one compares these sentiments of S.Waugh's and the offering of Ian Chappel's elsewhere then one would have to say that Ian Chappel is looking at the problems of Australi headon and not wearing extremely rosey spectacles. If one takes Clarke out of the equation then Australia will have a load of blokes who can carry a bat out to the middle and carry it back to the pavilion, and do very little in between.Clarke if his fitness survives will left in a similar position to Greg Chappel in 1977 when he was the lone great in amongst a lineup of nonentities. The bowling boast a cast of thousands too,but who? Personally I do not care for a moment. Everyone knows our top players, the world over.

  • Mitty2 on March 30, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @Lyndon mcpaul, it would be a contradiction to say that I agree with your disagreement of my previous statement, but for the most part, I do agree with you. If it helps, there will be absolutely no chance, none at all that siddle won't be picked if he's available (not injured). The selectors, and like many, just love him. He's underrated by the English who have already commented on this thread despite having much better stats than Anderson. Another positive for him is that he's looking very adaptable. The way he fought back in the third and fourth Indian tests was outstanding. Traditionally a guy who gets his wickets off seam movement and deviation off the pitch, he has shown lately that he can swing it, both conventionally and reverse. He is that workhorse that every attack needs, and fortunately, England lack.

    Why I exclude him however, is my attraction to bird. Ive seen him bowl in the shield and can categorically state that he's much better than any of Cummings, patto or starc.

  • ozziespirit on March 30, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    It's a shame that Waugh is the only weapon left at Australia's disposal as it's more than obvious that England are the better team, and really have been for such a long time. Aus fans want the days of Mcgrath etc back, but instead have had to watch for 4-5 years as England win every time. Realism is the only way Australia can improve. Yes, the seaming stocks looks brilliant, but they did in 2010/11 too. There's no spinners in Australia at the moment, and England have Swann, who even fit would be quite a handful. Anderson averages 27 in the last five years, and no one (Aus or Eng fan) forgets just what he did down-under last time and in 09. Fact is Aus need to improve before July, if they don't they will lose.

  • on March 30, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    The Aussie pace attack is looking very good for the Ashes and may prove to be better than the English attack. Anderson, Broad and Finn were made to look pretty ordinary in benign conditions and were out bowled by Southee, Boult and Wagner in the NZ series.

    The Aussies can choose from Pattinson, Bird, Starc, Siddle, Johnson, Cummins and Hilfenhaus.

    England may have an edge in the spin dept if Swann is good to go.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 30, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    @Mitty no doubt Khawaja at 3 would help deal with alot of our issues in the lineup, i have always stated that he is our best option at that position but just hasn't had the chance that the likes of Marsh and Hughes have had. Also a fan of Hughes and think we should persist with him in the ashes despite his failures in India. Four or five Australian players returned from India with their reputations either slightly enhanced or not diminished too badly. We all know who they are. One or two might have had their cards marked "never to tour again based on their failures against spin", although quixotic selection policies make that difficult to assess. Some players outside the squad (Haurtiz, for example) appear to have a strong case for inclusion, if only because they haven't yet had a chance to fail in the baggy green. But it seems to me that all we can hope for in the Ashes is that the team shows some fight which we a bit of in the Dehli test.

  • on March 30, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @mitty 2 I disagree that Bird would lay claim to the spot of Siddle. After 2 tests Bird is still unproven at international level though all signs are that,with his swing and accuracy, he will be a gun new ball bowler. I would therefore be inclined to rotate bird for harris and harris for bird throughout the series to try and stave of injury to Harris. Siddle is the ideal support bower. He comes on first change when the ball is a little older and finds a line and length straight away. He bowls long accurate spells and usually picks up wickets steadily through the day saving the likes of Pattinson for short sharp spells. Siddle's long accurate spells are especially vital to the team on flat pitches and indeed it has been 'batsmen's paradise' type pitches such as Adelaide where Siddle has come into his own and trumped the rest of the attack!

  • Paul_Rampley on March 30, 2013, 12:30 GMT

    @Sunil well said champ, i echo your words. Some key picks for me not counting Clarke and Pattinson. Cowan would be in my team, in the absence of anyone better. He hangs around, as openers should, but we wait in hope that he'll come good like, say, Peter Fulton in the Test at Auckland. Khawaja, yes and enough has been said on giving him a chance, he is an exceptional talent and I am confident the ashes will be his defining moment. Siddle, defintly worth persisting with, as a bowler. His batting showed his fighting spirit but he's not in the team for that.Bird has stress fractures in his back. allegedly he'll be good to go in May, lets hope so?I saw a bit ofShield cricket this summer and the standard is improving which is good signs for Aus cricket.Yeah, I'd be getting Harris in as often as I could as well -- I wish he decided to bowl faster when he was 23, not 28, he could have been a great, 200-wicket Test bowler. Who you drop for Harris will be a tough call, i don't want to make it.

  • Mitty2 on March 30, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    @Mary_786, Faulkner only being a one day specialist is a media evoked myth.he verges 22 in FC cricket. He and steve o'keefe are the only TRUE all rounders in Australia, and consequently are the best all rounders in the land. I say true all rounders because unlike Watson, maxwell and henriques, these two can make the cut into the best of a department, and subsequently hold their own in the other department. In both their cases, with their phenomenal averages, they are both bowlers. Both of them in the same attack could prompt a five man attack. No batting line up in the world on an actual not selectively watered pitch would do well/prosper against this attack: bird Harris pattinson Faulkner and o'keefe. (Lyon for bird if it's in the sub continent.) All though, I believe a five man attack is never necessary, and we need as much batting as possible in the team.

    @sunil, if only doolan after posting 160 odd against steyn, philander and morkel was picked for that series instead of quiney.

  • Mitty2 on March 30, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    @flemming_Mitch, I agree with you for the most part, but my Cowan bias will stop me wanting him out of the squad. His century against SA was in my mind, a perfect opener's hundred. A Watson Warner opening partnership would mar test cricket and be a catastrophe, and the only other alternative is Rogers, and I want Rogers in the team, but I believe Rogers and Cowan would be more effective than Cowan and Warner. Warner must stay however, and as the Cowan Warner opening duo is the best in the world statistically, so I don't see a real need in changing it. The problem lies in three and four, and Clarke with his history, simply MUST stay at five. And I believe a great solution to this, like you state, would be usman at three. He excludes class and looks a real prospect. And with hughes' obvious talent, he should be four. And as personal preference, I'd have rogers bat out of position at 6. Neville with his batting average should keep, I think paine's keeping is a bit overrated.

  • heathrf1974 on March 30, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    What Waugh said maybe true. But the English are a much more resilient team than Australia at the moment and are a lot more mentally tougher. Australia need to value their wickets and realize building pressure by tight bowling is the what is required to win tough test matches.

  • Mitty2 on March 30, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    @whoster, how convenient for you to pick starc who is not in our best pace attack, and exclude Harris who will obviously be in the attack. Bird also lays claim to the spot of siddle's. (you name your preffered attack, ill name mine!) And how much of a difference that makes, please tell me the overall average of a triumvirate of bird (16), patto (23) and Harris (23). What's that? The pace attack's collective average is now 19.67? Now to incoporpirate lyon, (o'keefe is a much better spinner with a FC average of 26 compared to lyon's 39), with his equal to panesar's test average of 33, and guess what, our bowling attack has a collective average of 23.75!

    Please, compare an average of 23.75 to england's 30.38. Like steyn to Anderson: streets ahead; in a different league.

    Now we've got that minor issue settled, time for a rhetorical. Who would you prefer, having a much better batting line up like England do or having a much better bowling attack like Ausdo? Prior could be the difference.

  • Sunil_Batra on March 30, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    As much as I hate to say it, I would consider taking Watson as long as he bowls.I think we will take an extra quick and have a 17 man squad. @Lobs as a Canberra local I was at the PM X1's game and let me tell you that Khawaja was among the best batsman on that day with his 70, Doolan was dropped once in his innings whereas Khawaja played without any chances. Khawaja averages 43 in shield cricket, Doolan 38 so hardly a comparison. Like mukesh i agree its time to give Khawaja proper run in the team, how long will he keep warming the bench as backup batsman, he is one of our best talents and its time to get him in.I'm not convinced by Doolan. His Shield form has fallen away a bit in the 2ndhalf of the season so I'm starting to think that his first-half was a temporary purple patch like Forrest had last year, though Forrest is talented . However there's not really anyone else who is demanding selection so it's hard to argue against him being picked but he does need 1 more shield season

  • Mary_786 on March 30, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    Regarding Hughes (and Khawaja) I have to agree with Mitch, both have had good success in England and in my mind Hughes was trying his best to address his batting against spin deficiencies. Both are still young and learning and I think Khawaja will be our best batsman in the ashes after Clarke, the POMs will be hoping we don't play him. Faulkner, I've got mixed feelings about and at this stage maybe Jospeh is right that he needs to show more in the longer form of the game. But he does seem of good potential.No way would I drop Warner. Like Hughes and Khawaja, we need him for England. Sure he had an average Indian tour, though he was only one of three who scored 50 or more in an innings twice. And his average though slipping to slightly under 40 is still a lot better than all but Clarke in the present group. And I'd like to point out that though he is flashy, he scores runs quickly and before this tour he was consistently scoring 50s in several tests.

  • shrastogi on March 30, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Largely agree with Waugh. I dont think Aussies need to be very pessimistic about what likes of Botham or Vaughan has to say. England's performance in NZ is also a pointer to how good a side England is. Australia has a very fine pace attack (as good as England's) and if it delivers the pressure on batting would be less. Where England has an edge is the fact that they are playing in home conditions and they have better spinners and slight edge in batting. So an interesting ashes ahead. btw, What Waugh has suggested about including women players is what I suggested 3-4 or more years back. The practicality of this has to work out but its a very good idea. The only thing against it is that even women dont watch women cricket to the extant they watch men version.

  • Flemo_Gilly on March 30, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    Waugh has some good points but we have our work cut out to win the ashes. Maxwell and Doherty should be done. In all honesty Cowan should be but will be kept. The real problem with him is an inability to score beyond his average. Getting out every time for 30 after facing 100 balls is farcical and is NOT doing the job of opener, its just ONE of the jobs. Smith is interesting, although he showed commendable application in India it is the technique that worries me. Number 6 only though, not 5!! Personally I would rather have a Burns type at 6, a player with genuine technique and potential to move up the order. Khawaja is our best number 3 and and will be key for the ashes as very few players play swing bowling better then him so expect a big one from him in the ashes. Haddin should be done and dusted, time to move on by selecting Paine, Hartley, Neville etc as either the backup, or actually make the decision that Wade is not really performing behind the stumps and replace him.

  • on March 30, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    waugh is the main who destroy lot of test team by white wash when he was aussies captain but now its australian trun

  • on March 30, 2013, 11:21 GMT

    England's main problem in winning the series is they cant lay claim to having a genuine spearhead. Every team needs at least one bowler who is going to make the most of the new ball. By test standards this means having an average under 25 runs per wicket and the ability to take 2 or 3 wickets a time with the new ball otherwise you are likely to allow damaging top order partnerships from the opposition. At least 2 Australian bowlers can lay claim to these sorts of figures and they are James Pattinson and Ryan Harris. Peter Siddle has figures that are better than Englands 'Pseudo Spearhead' James Anderson but without hardly ever taking the new ball. The lack of such a bowler means that even Australia's poor batting might be able to take advantage of England's blunt attack. If the selectors do their Job and select the bowling attack that can apply pressure at all stages of the innings (Pattinson, Harris/Bird, Siddle, Lyon) then this could be a big step towards a series win.

  • whoster on March 30, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    If the stats are anything to go by, the Aussies are due for a walloping in England. Obviously a lot can change between now and July selection/injury wise, but both sides should look something like - ENGLAND: Cook, Compton, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Root, Prior, Broad, Swann, Finn, Anderson. AUSTRALIA: Cowan, Warner, Clarke, Hughes, Watson, Wade, Smith, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson, Lyon. ENGLAND BATTING TOP 7: Caps - 387, Centuries - 81, Avg - 44.30. ENGLAND BOWLING QUARTET: Caps - 205, Wkts - 773, Avg - 30.38. AUSTRALIA BATTING TOP 7: Caps - 212, Centuries - 34, Avg - 37.13. AUSTRALIA BOWLING QUARTET: Caps - 82, Wkts - 296, Avg - 29.85. Apart from the Aussie bowling unit taking their wickets at a slightly lower cost, there's a huge gulf between the sides in quality and experience. England's team virtually picks itself, while only Clarke, Siddle and Pattinson are pencilled-in for Australia. Stats don't tell everything, but the Aussies winning The Ashes in England looks highly unlikely.

  • on March 30, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    'England not as good as they think' ...Well.. that's a convenient thing to say after losing the test series against India 0-4 where as English won it 2-1 ! Seriously what an attitude these Aussies have ! Even Indians don't have such attitudes ! :D

  • thebrotherswaugh on March 30, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    @OhhhhhMattyMatty - you obviously don't know much about Steve Waugh's contribution to the AUS side, particularly as captain. Remember, he stood by the likes of Hayden and Langer early in their careers to ensure they were given full opportunity to develop their skills - they certainly did. He obviously made some wrong calls along the way, but nowhere near as many as his predecessor. He also NEVER lost an Ashes series! He's making a brave call here, but it's fair to say that ENG are not as good as they think they are - especially the bulk of their supporters. That being said, I still think that ENG are a better all-round side than AUS and will retain the Ashes comfortably (on the back of the failure of Australia's batting lineup). It might be a different story back in AUS over our summer, especially if Siddle, Cummins, Pattinson, Starc, Bird, Harris, and Hilfenhaus are fit and contending for bowling spots (very highly unlikely to happen).

  • on March 30, 2013, 11:05 GMT

    I have gone back and checked the results for both teams since the start of the 2011 season in May of that year, so almost two years worth of results. The lowest point for the Aussies during that time was definitely the most recent 0-4 debacle, after that it's probably 1-1 hosting NZ. The lowest point for England was 0-3 vs Pakistan followed by the 0-0 most recently in NZ. The subjective highest point for England would be the 2-1 this season in India, while the Aussies drew 1-1 in SA. Both teams have destroyed India at home and beat WI handily. Both teams have lost a hosted series vs SA. Australia won both series vs SL in that time with 4 wins 0 losses; England could manage a win and a drawn series with 2 wins 1 loss.

    I think the point is that both teams are not as different as one might think. Neither team is totally dominant and have pretty well much won what they were expected to while losing vs SA. Maybe a slight edge for England, but talk of easy 5-0 victories is absurd.

  • thebrotherswaugh on March 30, 2013, 10:55 GMT

    Sage advice from the great man - and I rate him as highly as any of the other 'modern' greats. Patience is the key word - from all involved, especially our top order batsmen out in the middle. ENG are nowhere near as good as they think they are - otherwise they would have comfortably defeated NZ. However, they are still clearly a better all-round unit than AUS, especially at home. We can compete in the bowling department, and although many pundits are writing off Lyon, it's too early to do so. Lyons first tour of IND was more than comparable to his ENG spin counterparts (their first tours of IND, I mean). He should become a better bowler because of his experience in IND. However, the ENG batting lineup is far better than ours, and they have some guys who are happy to occupy the crease. Another huge factor in the Poms favour is their WK - Prior is the best gloveman in the world, hands down. He is also a gutsy and talented middle order batsmen who can counterattack or occupy the crease.

  • SirViv1973 on March 30, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    Perhaps It's aus collection of honest, injury prone & unproven seamers who are not as good as they, the their ex players & fans think they are.

  • shillingsworth on March 30, 2013, 10:09 GMT

    A combined team from England and Australia would currently look something like - Cook, Watson, Trott, Pietersen, Clarke, Bell, Prior, Swann, Starc, Pattinson, Anderson. That's 7 from England and 4 from Australia. Waugh may be right about England but it would seem that Australia are worse.

  • TontonZolaMoukoko on March 30, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    The fact that Waugh rates Phil Hughes as an international cricketer surely just invalidates anything else he has to say.

  • on March 30, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    Its good to hear the backing of the Aussie players from S.Waugh but the reality is Team England is a tougher prospect at home. What Waugh did not concede is that Team England is also capable of taking 20 wickets. So to declare that England is not as good as they think is irresponsible to say the least, a declaration that Waugh may be forced to swallow after the Ashes.

  • OhhhhhMattyMatty on March 30, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    Quite clear Steve Waugh obviously wasn't the "talent spotter" during the dominant Aussie sides of the late 90's and early 00's! He rates Phil Hughes? Shane Watson can be a great? Australia ended the last Test with their entire XI all averaging under 40. When was the last time any side, other than Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or a WI side under strike, did that?

  • pvwadekar on March 30, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    Steve Waugh has fired the starters pistol on the pre ashes banter. Essentially, he is saying. "we are not good, but neither are you guys". Australia always had bowlers to take 20 wickets on fast and helpful wickets, but now England also have bowlers who can take 20 wickets and also batsmen who can score runs in any condition.Aussies on the other hand, don't have the technique to defend their wickets or fight for a draw. Remember 47 all out Vs SA, 88 all out vs Pak, in seaming conditions. England are very powerful in home conditions & with Swann returning back with a successful operation, things will get even difficult. Is it possible for Australia to loose 10 more on the trot ? According to Merriam-Websters "Schadenfreude: enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others" :)) Can Aussies loose 10 more on the trot ? will it be a new world record ? 2013 is very promising.

  • Wefinishthis on March 30, 2013, 9:31 GMT

    As great a player as he was, like Shane Warne, Steve Waugh is not the best judge of talent so I take his comments with a grain of salt, but he is right that England are not as good as we think. Cook, Trott, KP and Prior are world-class players, but they've had the benefit of facing ordinary bowling in recent years. Look what happened when they finally faced the quality of Steyn and Philander! If Australia pick our Steyn/Philander equivalent of Harris/Pattinson/Bird and throw O'Keefe in as the spinner (who was brilliant against Cook and Co. in the PM XI game before the last ashes series), we could quite easily win the ashes. Unfortunately the NSP will incorrectly 'back' Siddle/'haus/MJ as usual which failed dismally in the last 2 ashes series (and pretty much every series) and will fail again. Starc is just another MJ - outstanding when conditions suit, but mostly useless.

  • Vinod_Fab on March 30, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Even 2nd String ENG side will thrash this AUS side..!!.. No More Talking.. I expect ENG vs PAK finals in champions trophy...

  • on March 30, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    It's foolishness to compare Australia's performance in India vs Eng's performance in NZ ...Eng has got similar swinging condition(like eng) and they failed miserably to swing the ball when southie and boult swung both ways.. On the other hand pattinson bowled his heart out on dead dust bowls and got the ball to swing at an impressive pace (famous snake ball :P) ....I am sure Pattinson and Siddle would cause lot more problems to England batting line up ....

  • poms_have_short_memories on March 30, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    @ThemanID, Australia's bowling attack is considered dangerous because it is a genuine fast bowling attack. Starc will trouble Trott and Pietersen because they have a weakness to balls swinging into them and Cook has issues with balls swinging away from him, all at 140kph+. The best English batsman, by technique anyway is Ian Bell and he has struggled against moving balls in the past. Not to mention Pattinson, who is bowling very well at the moment and will be relishing English conditions. Add Ryan Harris, who is probably Australia's best bowler when firing and Peter Siddle, even English supporters must secretly admit our pace attack is more dangerous. Admittedly England has Jimmy Anderson, whom I would grudgingly admit is probably the second best pace bowler in the world ATM and Steve Finn, who gets good bounce. Besides them, pacewise, there isn't much, Broad is too inconsistant and Swann is probably the 3rd best spinner around after Ajmal and Herath. Don't forget Pat Cummins.

  • on March 30, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    I don't think that australia is a bad team.If they lost 4-0 to india,then everyone is saying that they are bad players.They lost here due to inexperience,not because of lack of talent.The same australian side will go to england and perform very well because the conditions there will suit them. Don't you remeber a batsman who plays well in india,can play well anywhere else in subcontinent.Aussies have teribble pace attack.Hilfenhaus,Starc,Pattinson,harris ,Cummins,Siddle are world class fast bowlers and are capable of go through any batting line up in world on fast pitches. So,my team would be:Warner,Cowan,Watson,Hughes,Clarke,Khwaja,Wade,Starc,Harris,Hilfenhaus,Pattinson.

  • AKS286 on March 30, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    This type of motivational words will not do anything great S.Waugh. Current Oz team is also failed in mind games. Failures in all department from domestic awards to international management.

  • tristen_kul on March 30, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    Seriously, Australia is ranked #4 in tests, and England is #2. I would think before I boast about Australia beating England, because Australia got smashed 4-0 to India.

    I think England will win the Ashes this year.

    I'm not an England supporter, nor am I from from England.

    NZ supporter.

  • on March 30, 2013, 8:13 GMT

    Australia's top order looks more suited to T20 apart from Cowan who I think at least values his wicket. I think Australia might be in trouble in England. Arthur and Clarke are the wrong people to get Australia going again. I'd like to see Darren Lehman as the national coach.

  • on March 30, 2013, 7:38 GMT

    If aussies keep faith in their current team, bar a couple of genuine changes, I don see why they cant regain the urn. They cant be judged based on their tour of india. Not even great teams have done well in India! Other way to win in India is "India playing bad cricket" which happened when Eng were in India. Remember their struggle against Pak. That was night mare :)

  • Treidy on March 30, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    Maybe but Australia are as bad as we know they are.

  • ThemanID on March 30, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Why is aus bowling so hyped. Pattinson is good, but only in aus conditions. Yeah aus conditions are same to eng but he hasn't played any top teams except sa where he did ok. Siddle has a good average in eng but this england lineup is way better than 2009. Starc can be good. Bird has played 2 games against sl, why is he hyped up. In short only Patto and maybe start can threaten england batsman, who are WAYYYYY better than aus batsman. You can compare Clarke to cook, Cowan to Compton, but hughes to trott, kp to Watson, Warner to bell, root to smith and wade to prior are really different

  • SamRoy on March 30, 2013, 6:59 GMT

    Australia will lose badly in England. Whether it is 2-0, 3-1, 3-0, 4-1 or 4-0, I am not sure. The two things that are very remotely possible are an Australian Series Win or a 5-0 whitewash of Australia (weather). Can you tell me another good batsman capable of batting for long periods and scoring runs other than Clarke? Hughes? Can't play a single good innings unless the ball stops swinging/seaming and/or stops spinning. If anyone watched the ODI series in Australia vs SL, it should really clear to everyone. When the ball is doing nothing Hughes is really good. When the ball starts doing something he falls flat on his face.

  • ldsutd on March 30, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    How short the Aussie memories are. Not too long ago their batting crumbled against pace and seam for 47 and they since have not scored too many. The supposed potentially powerful bowling attack was flayed in Australia by SA so much so that two bowlers could not even complete the series due to fatigue, and they went on to lose the series despite having being on top for 3/4 of the time. Does not bode well and arrogant statements like that of Waugh is not going to make a iota of a difference.

  • on March 30, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Australia shouldn't be worried about whether England think they themselves are either good or bad. Aust needs to ask themselves whether THEY think they are good enough. Take out the last series to India and looking at their improvement over the last two years I think the boys can compete against any side in the world. Having said that, for Aust to get over the spin jitters they need to book a tour to the UAE vs Pakistan asap and learn how to face good spin attacks.

  • jonesy2 on March 30, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    the only thing that can save england will be the rain and going by that country's weather i wouldnt rule it out. i tell you what though england better focus on limiting the hurt NZ are going to put on them. if ross taylor shows up NZ will win the series in england before the ashes even starts due to them also having a much, much, much better fast bowling contingent than the poms

  • dalboy12 on March 30, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    Having watched England here recently in NZ I have to agree with Steve Waugh. England will need runs from Cook and Trott again otherwise they will be in trouble. The English bowling attack didn't look that impressive at all here in NZ, they missed Swarn, but Finn and Board didn't impress me much at all, they leaked a lot of runs. Aussie will rely on Clark, but Watson is someone who in the past has shown that he can have dynamic runs of form, if he gets in one of those - then Aussie will have game on. I think Aussie use too many loud mouth aggressive fast bowlers such as Siddle, Starc and Pattinsen, but I reckon they need to pick at least two out of Bird, Harris, and Hilfenhaus especially in England, as these guys are more accurate while still quick and able to move the ball. Overall i reckon it will be a close series between two evenly matched teams - home advantage could be the difference and that will favour Aussie more than England as they have more unique pitches than England does.

  • rienzied on March 30, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    David Warner is only good on bouncy wickets. He is also good on easy wickets, but the moment you see him on a wicket that requires a straight bat, he will struggle. He needs so much more first class cricket under his belt. Cowan, Watson, Hughes, Clarke, smith, bailey/ Voges, Haddin/ Payne , and the bowling group,.

  • Chris_P on March 30, 2013, 5:19 GMT

    @Wombats In case my other post doesn't make it (for some odd reason) The Gabba is a go. We'll make plans during your summer. As for our chances, let me wait until the squad is selected, but am barely hopeful, at best.

  • pulkit10 on March 30, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    The problem, like everyone has pointed out, is batting. No one is doubting the impact energetic pacemen can have on bouncy/pacy tracks, it's just that you need runs on the board to defend a score and that's one area that Australia lack in. Apart from Clarke and Cowan, no one has really showed the determination to bat well.

    Things couldn't be more different for the English. Currently, batting is their major strength with Pietersen and Cook both doing very well over the last few years. Pietersen is right up there with the modern greats and Cook is incredibly consistent. Trott and Bell are nice for support as well and they really have an amazing batsman in Matt Prior.

    Warner, Watson and Smith will have to match some of their counterparts to give their team a chance. Just putting it all on Clarke and the bowling attack will only give another disastrous result.

  • Showbags88 on March 30, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    The big difference between this series and previous Ashes series is England will for the first time in 20 years go in as favourites. Even in 2010/11 Australia was still favourites for that series before the 1st Test. Now with Botham, Vaughan and Co. all saying this is the worst Australian side ever and them being heavy favourites with the bookies, the expectation and pressure is all on them. They are expected to win this series comprehensively.

    You can certainly draw some parallels with the 1989 Ashes with this current series. Australia are young and inexperienced, England are experienced (and aging). Everyone is writing Australia off and coming from an Australian perspective I think that plays right into our hands tbh. Even if we don't win this series I think the experience of playing will auger well for our next generation of players.

  • mikaelnorm on March 30, 2013, 3:25 GMT

    To declare that Australia have the bowlers to defeat England in England is highly optimistic. Australia couldn't manage this feat in 2005 against a batting line up containing a hit-out-or-get-out Trescothick, a clueless Bell and a (with the exception of that stunning 166 at Old Trafford) woefully out of form Vaughan, with a bowling attack boasting well over 1000 Test wickets at the time. England to win 4-1 ( Aussies to inflict an innings defeat at Chester-le-Street in an already lost cause). From a Sri Lanka fan based in London.

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    I think it will be a close Ashes..with a 2-1 win for England....I expect Australia to put up a bigger fight than against India recently..It cannot be forgotten that Australian batsmen were found out by good spin bowling..Also, their pace bowlers were ineffective in Indian conditions.. In England, I expect the Aussie bowling to be effective..I also expect Aussie batsmen to perform better, maybe even a lot better..Spin maybe hard, but good old-fashioned pace and swing bowling can be something many Aussie batsmen can probably play well.. The English hubris maybe a factor working against them as well. Aussies should be delighted to have looked at England struggling in NZ. If NZ had had 5 more overs to bowl, they would probably have won the last test and series..

  • on March 30, 2013, 3:02 GMT

    A contrarian opinion from the smug steve. Think hes right though.

  • on March 30, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    As a neutral I must say I absolutely look forward to the Ashes. Its never about the best two sides competing against each other. It is about how individuals take their game to the next level beyond even what their ability would suggest they are capable of. The pressure is actually on England this time. They are clearly the better side in all departments except fast bowling. They are expected to win but Aus team wont give in that easily. If England do the basics right , I dont see why they can achieve a 5-0 but we all know it takes only one poor session to turn the tide in tests.

    It is going to be a fantastic series. The atmosphere on Day 1 before the first ball is going to be bowled will be unbelievable.

  • whoster on March 30, 2013, 2:17 GMT

    No more Test cricket for Australia until Trent Bridge. Apart from Clarke, every Aussie batsman is yet to cement a place in the side. There's a good pool of fast bowlers, but only Pattinson and Siddle are guaranteed their places at present. If Swann is fully fit, then England's attack will have the extra dimension the Aussies don't have. Out of England's top seven batsmen, five of them average between 45 and 50 - and have also played a lot of Test cricket. Take away Clarke, and the Aussie batting is threadbare, both on performance and experience. There's no comparison between Prior and Wade as keeper - or batsman, and unless England have an injury crisis, or Clarke lifts his carrying of the Aussie batting to new heights, England will never get a better chance to deal out a comprehensive thrashing.

  • Rooboy on March 30, 2013, 2:09 GMT

    Why are Botham's comments even mentioned? He's a parody of a serious cricket commentator, in the same mould as vaughan. He's the guy who said eng would smack Aus's 'dad's army' team in 2006/07. Just before Aus won 5-0. Considering his opinion is akin to discussing a primary school physics student's thoughts on quantum mechanics .. ie it's irrelevant

  • Bird_bird_bird on March 30, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    @shan156, are you joking me? At not a single stage did any Aus fan say that our quicks would do well on Indian pitches. Remember how your lot changed from "easily walking over NZ" to "oh no, they're preparing flat tracks to negate our medium pace trundlers!!"

    Using siddle and Anderson in the same sentence? Hah! Siddle is superior to Anderson in every facet of the game. Bowls longer spells; extracts more bounce; faster; more accurate. Has a much better average of 28.84, to anderson's 30.61, siddle has a better strike rate of 2 bowls and a lower economy rate. I fail to see, how Anderson is better to siddle in any way? More wickets in more game?. Cheers for the laugh.

    And for those who say only Clarke would make the England line up (lol Joe root and bairstow's averages), England do not have a single 'quick' who would make it to our attack. All inferior to pattinson, bird, Harris, siddle, Cummings.. Even hilfenhaus on average. The thought of broad, Finn and panesar in the same attack..

  • on March 30, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    I tend to agree with both Nampally and siddhartha87 on this. A good idea for Watto to bat down the order methinks, it will take a lot to dislodge England, every dog has his day and England are doing well at this moment in time. India and South Africa are going great guns also and sadly we are not the team we once were it needs changing at once, the selectors need more scrutiny as well as we have some excellent players here, overlooked naturally which at times I just cannot understand.Instead virtually unknown players are selected

  • wellrounded87 on March 30, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    If we're to stand any chance of winning the ashes a few things need to happen.

    Maxwell, Doherty, and Smith need to go.

    Ryan Harris should be picked and open the bowling with Pattinson.

    If the conditions look to suit pace, play four fast men, if the pitch looks like it will dry up and crack play lyon.

    Watson needs to bowl or be dropped with Burns or Doolan to replace

  • riz309 on March 30, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    Oh boy after the poor batting display against a mediocre indian bowling how on earth can Waugh say that After Hussy's exit Clark def needs someone to acompany him on the crease and at present Aus batting lineup is not performing and Eng bowler's already sniff that unless Aus as a whole unit pull a miracle

  • Alexk400 on March 30, 2013, 0:40 GMT

    What you expect steve waugh to say? Negative?. I think aussie do not have batsman except clarke. One man show.

  • balajik1968 on March 30, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    Waugh has to back the Aussies(naturally). Maybe he is right about the bowling, they may do well. But the batting, I am sorry. People keep ranting about Indian conditions, but the fact is the Aussies were not prepared to grind it out, not prepared to play time. Australia may not have won much in India, but they were always highly competitive, except in this series. It is'nt just the conditions, it is also the spirit. Frankly, I expect England to win both the series, but I suppose they would be exhausted at the end of it.

  • SnowSnake on March 30, 2013, 0:24 GMT

    I think Steve has said the right thing. In the recent history, England barely won a series in India 2-1 and then barely managed to draw a series in NZ. Given NZ is low ranked that is hardly an achievement. Also, Australia played a different Indian team. England's win against India is primarly attributed to Monty who may not be as effective in the Ashes. Australia's fast bowlers were ineffective in Indian spinning conditions but Australia's bowling attack is very potent and should not be underestimate. I think it is hard to predict who will win the Ashes.

  • on March 29, 2013, 23:46 GMT

    Always thought Steve Waugh was a shrewd thinker and fantastic player but honestly, does he really think aus can match England in the summer?

    Batters : Watson (how many inns without a ton?), Warner (T20 player), Cowan (oh please), Hughes (walking wicket), Clarke (world class as everyone knows).

    Bowlers: Pattinson (decent) Starc, Johnson (wild slingers), Siddle (trier, county standard), Lyon (club standard),

    Wicketkeeper/batsman: Wade .. Ours is Matt Prior.

    A nice dry summer - and it's 5-0

    Can't wait

  • ThatsJustCricket on March 29, 2013, 23:24 GMT

    Seriously Steve? The conditions in Eng will not be as spin friendly, but Eng has better spinners than the Indians in Swann and Panesar. and speaking of pace friendly conditions, the Aussies were having a hard time against the rookie Bhuvanesh Kumar's swing on the least pace friendly tracks of India, how do you suppose they would fare against Jimmy and co in England? Yes, the Aus seamers will bowl better than they did in Ind but they might have to score the runs by themselves as well (like Siddle or Starc) :P

  • on March 29, 2013, 23:15 GMT

    Some serious pipe-dreaming from Tugga here. He and everybody else in Australia knows England is going to give Australia a hiding. Just wishful thinking, Steve.

  • Selassie-I on March 29, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    You would have thought that mark had realised what the rest of us have after 40 tests; watson isnt a test quality batsman. But nor are most of the aussies line up so he's at home at least.

    Other than clarke who are the 100 makers?

  • on March 29, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    Oh Steve's just having a stir. Should be decent series, I'm still a little concerned about eng's bowling consistency but one dodgy series does not a bad side make. Excited by the prospect of the much-vaunted aus seam attack but suspect some on these pages may be making hyperbolic claims for them. The constant harping on about Anderson's average goes to show largely that statistics are bunk. If you can't understand that Jimmy's class then I'm afraid there's no hope for you.

    But hey, England haters gonna hate, it's what they do. @Shan156 excellent debunking, btw @Ramanujam Sridhar Ponting's overall average 51.45, against England 44.21, um, what?

  • ada123 on March 29, 2013, 22:50 GMT

    Someone wake up Steve and remind him of the absolute drubbing that India laid on Australia recently. Was that not enough to hamper the Aussie arrogance?

  • SillyMidPavilion on March 29, 2013, 22:45 GMT

    @siddhartha87 - I see no reason as to why Steve Smith shouldn't be in the team for the Ashes series. Sure, his legspin these days is barely above the standard of David Warner, but he's made up for that with the improvement to his batting. In fact, he was selected for that trainwreck of an India tour as a specialist batsman, who just happened to bowl legspin on the side. Besides, he's doing something that the rest of the specialist batsmen haven't been - making runs. With the current state of the Australian batting order, I see no reason as to why Smith shouldn't be in the team. However, I agree with your statement that Maxwell and Henriques are not Test-caliber.

  • AjaySridharan on March 29, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    How come an English fan has not yet responded by saying "Steve Waugh not as smart as he thinks"

  • bagley on March 29, 2013, 22:07 GMT

    the three players he talks of should be dropped from the squad, these comments from waugh are unhelpful and will only ad weight to the long standing selection bias toward NSW and QLD players which continues to hamper australia,s national performance.

  • Lobs on March 29, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    There is a strong likelihood that Clarke's back will not recover --it is a degenerative complaint. Shock, horror. Now is the time to look to the forgotten Tasmania- winners of the Sheffield Shield of late. Cowan is a conscientious opener; Silk is new but very impressive-he should go to England; I saw Doolan and Khawaja bat together in the PM's team for an hour-- Doolan looked like Hutton ,Khawaja like a learner. Doolan has real poise for No 3.He averages more than Khawaja; Bailey is the best leader in Australian cricket and a very good bat. He should captain the side in Clarke's absence; Paine has had injury troubles but is back and should be one 'keeper.; Faulkner and Butterworth stand out as all rounders who can bowl accurately and bat to win matches--their averages say it all. Doherty's spin is accurate and he could be a minor Underwood in UK. Add Siddle, Lyon, Starc, Pattinson , Hughes and Warner and we have a conscientious , disciplined team. I am not a Tasmanian!

  • on March 29, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    That's okay, Australia is not good at all :)

  • on March 29, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    I just feel Ed Cowan and James Pattinson are going to decide the ashes this time around. This ashes might be the breakthrough series for Cowan.

  • desiboy454 on March 29, 2013, 21:34 GMT

    In England, you can say ENGLAND are as dominant as anyone going around the world. Except SA, who are #1 everywhere, no one has come close to beating England in England. But that said, break Alastir Cook and you will break half of England. I think if a fully fit Aussie bowling can fire in England, then it should be a good contest. I believe Hughes, cowan n warner will do much better than in India. But the difference will be WATSON bowling and CLARKE being CLARKE. If clarke and watson the all rounder fire, It will be a fighting contest. Personally, England can be taken down with the Aussie bowlers firing. My Playing XI: 1. Warner 2. Cowan 3. Hughes 4. Clarke 5. Khawaja/Bailey 6. Watson 7. Wade 8. Siddle 9. Pattinson 10. Ryan Harris (if fit) 11. Lyon

    back up batsman: Brad Haddin, Micheal North Back up pace: Starc, johnson/pat cummins, bird, hillfenhaus.

    I believe Ryan harris is an X-factor in england if fit. and Watson an all rounder.

    Personally I think this will be tight contest

  • on March 29, 2013, 21:17 GMT

    Quite possibly true. England may not be as good as they think. Luckily though Australia really are as bad as everyone else thinks.

  • CricketCoachDB on March 29, 2013, 21:04 GMT

    @ alwaysindia, hogwash-to call Monty an Indian is extremely ignorant; he is English. You just can't accept that England hammered you out of sight in your own backyard, something you can only dream of doing in ours.

  • 5wombats on March 29, 2013, 20:47 GMT

    @JG2704 (March 29, 2013, 16:04 GMT) - hello again! Sorry mate, re-read my post. I actually rate Starc highly - he's shown what he can do in English conditons. However - he is a prospect only. He is yet to prove himself at the next level up. As for Siddle.... no, sorry...! @Chris_P (March 29, 2013, 18:51 GMT) Go easy, eh? All I'm doing here is getting my retaliation in first... :-) Btw we will be in Australia for most of the forthcoming Ashes. Strange but true. Sydney and Brisbane. Fancy an all-nighter?

  • on March 29, 2013, 20:44 GMT

    Steve Waugh has finally had enough of Micks and Pupps playing mental games with their own team. So, he has decided that, he himself will indulge in taking a dig at England.

    Anyway, I decided not to read further after the below point in the article.

    "Shane Watson, I think, has the potential to be a really great Test batsman, if he can step up to the mark along with Michael Clarke and some of the younger guys. I like the look of Phil Hughes, he's got something deep within him that makes him a long-term Test player."

    The only thing that I can see deep within Hughes is the scars of 'C Guptill B Martin'

  • crickketlover on March 29, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    Fast bowlers these days cannot even bowl three or four tests - they need to be rested! Ask Lillee and Thomson - they were bowling every single test. I think present test match bowlers are not fit enough to play series like Ashes- they need some fitness training from pace bowlers of previous generation.

  • on March 29, 2013, 20:28 GMT

    Steve Waugh's comments has some value, but the English seem to have gotten into a habit of scraping through tough Test cricket moments. You have to be really good to not lose even on your worst tours - the recent NZ tour being one such example. To win in India 2-1, especially when you were 0-1 down is very special. So unless Clarke & co pull a miracle, and suddenly turn in some inspired match winners, I don't see England not winning 4-0 or 5-0.

  • Digimont on March 29, 2013, 20:19 GMT

    This is test cricket. Momentum can change very quickly. Imagine winning the toss on the first day, bowling, and dismissing England for under 200. Getting the better of the batting conditions, Australia make 300 (not unreasonable). You could find yourself 1-0 up in no time and suddenly your batsmen stand taller for the remainder of the tour.

    I've just checked the scores, it is 0-0 at the moment, with 5 tests to play. This is test cricket. I can't wait!

  • Shan156 on March 29, 2013, 20:15 GMT

    @mikey76, but don't you know that Aus. have these mystery quicks who are the best but only when they are not playing? Let's see how many b2b Ashes tests these Aussies quicks play leave alone b2b series. Someone suggested that Aus. will field 4 quicks and no spinners. Well, good luck with that. I know it worked in Headingley and Perth but it will not work in any of the other venues. These Aussie quicks were supposed to be deadly on any surface and were supposed to thrash India in India. But then, when the opposite happened, they claimed that India prepared rank turners and negated the potency of their bowlers. Now, they are claiming that the English conditions will suit them and so they will blow Eng. away conveniently ignoring the fact that the conditions will suit the England bowlers more and given that the Aussie batting is a shambles (except Clarket), Eng. are favorites to win this encounter in a canter. Of course, I won't predict a whitewash but Eng. are the better side.

  • ameen786 on March 29, 2013, 20:12 GMT

    Mr. Steve Waigh stop dreaming about winning Ashes for next 5 years England will beat Austraila 5-0. Arthur is spoiling the Austraila Cricket please open the eyes.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 29, 2013, 20:01 GMT

    It really is about time Australia got rid of Clarke, he's damaged goods in terms of the future prospects of the team. Hussey etc all look like they walked early due to some issues with him, and his eventual decision to begrudgingly move up the order (out of the bubble of the middle order) and only to fail, was utterly humiliating for him. His on-field tactics were appalling in the India series, the one good decision he made was to drop Lyon after the first test, in recognition of the fact that Australia's spin cupboard, like their batting one, is totally empty.

  • xylo on March 29, 2013, 19:48 GMT

    Australia might have a good bowling line-up, but if England opt to leave out Broad and bring in Finn, they have a good attack as well. And England spinners are light years ahead of Australia's. On the batting front, you cannot really stack them up and not help but laugh. Apart from Clarke, only Ed Cowan shows any intent to not lose his wicket. The Achilles' heel of England though, is their attitude. This was clearly on display in NZ. Prior was the odd man out. Sorry, but this Ashes series is not going to be closely fought.

  • Chris_P on March 29, 2013, 19:41 GMT

    @landl47. Agree Harris is a risk for 5 tests, but he is a special to cherrypick for 2 or 3 tests (definitely) Lords. He bowled a lot of overs in the Shield final, & this after 3 tough weekends of playing. On a flat pitch, he was easily the outstanding bowler of both sides, a bowler who actually out-thought the batsman! With Siddle, Starc & Pattinson plus one other (personal choice would be Faulkner if Bird was unavailable,) but there are plenty of options, the bowling is not a concern. I have written about Smith's improved technique & it showed in India. MoHen showed enough this season to consider keeping. He made a great debut, & in his next 2 tests, he got a great ball for one dismissal & was run out by a poor call by Wade. His bowling would suit English conditions, so definitely an option for the squad, at least. Watson shouldn't go purely on form, Cowan showed a lot of determination & a willingness to hang about, but the cupboard is bare, no doubt. We'll do it tough.

  • helloDolly on March 29, 2013, 19:39 GMT

    Well!Aussies had the bottom feel out in India;they looked awful in every aspects of the game called cricket but they have every resources to bounce back and agreeing with that England has a team that not only can win but can draw when in need now that's a difficult team to beat;specially when Aussies are coming off a disaster.Yes;Steve is right it may take a while but Aussies will do better.

  • YaksNad on March 29, 2013, 19:08 GMT

    So they had to bring out the big guns, McGrath, Hayden etc giving the pre-series pep talk won't do now?

  • kallis57 on March 29, 2013, 18:53 GMT

    I think the only point Steve Waugh has is that the Australian seam attack will look lots more potent than they did in India. Pattinson Siddle and Starc are a great front 3. They also have Hilfenhaus who is perfect for English conditions. Jackson Bird looked great on debut and Ryan Harris and Mitchell Johnson are not the worse 5th and 6th choice. If England produce or end up playing on seaming pitches the Australian attack is the equal of England's. However, the Australian batting really looks a mess. Clarke has been world class for a couple of years but looked awful last time we played them and has a chronic back condition. Will he even be 100% fit for the Ashes. The rest of the batting looked awful against spin and seam. If you lined up both top 7's I reckon only Clarke and maybe Watson would get in the England team assuming KP is fit. If Swann is fit we should produce 5 turning pitches and win 5-0

  • Chris_P on March 29, 2013, 18:51 GMT

    @Wombats. Good to have you back & adding thoughtful posts. Just go a little on easy on some of us, ok? We're not like a few who stir the pot.

  • landl47 on March 29, 2013, 18:49 GMT

    @Chris_P: Among all the jingoistic nonsense from both sides, maybe a few of us can have a sensible discussion. I'm expecting Australia to play much better in England than they did in India. It really comes down to whether the Aus seamers can get it right. Unfortunately for both Aus and the series, I think it's unlikely that Bird will play, Harris is too big a risk to bring and Cummins hasn't played a FC match since November 2011, so it would be madness to pick him. However, that still leaves Siddle, Pattinson and Starc (who was very effective in Eng last year), with perhaps Hilf and MJ as reserves. It's a good line-up.

    The batting is the worry, I agree. Huss's retirement has left a big hole and Warner, Cowan, Hughes and Watson don't look the most solid top 4. If Swann is fit, he's a key part of the England attack as he bowls well against left-handers. For that reason alone I'd take Smith over Khawaja at #6.

    If (and it is an if) the top 4 get on a roll, it will be a good series.

  • vxttemp on March 29, 2013, 18:44 GMT

    I'm not a great fan of steve but I'm with him on this. Conditions in Eng will suit Aussies batsmen and bowlers. It's a different ball game compared to India. My money is on Aussies for the ashes as long as starc, pattison are fit. Most of the aussies failed in spin dept in India. England have good spinners but I don't think that will be sufficient in English conditions.

  • StJohn on March 29, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    After a 'losing' 0-0 drawn Test series in NZ, I think we all know England aren't that amazing. That 0-0 lucky escape isn't quite as bubble bursting as a 4-0 drubbing in India, but 'getting away with' a 0-0 draw in NZ is hardly the mark of an England team that the Aussies should fear. So there's not really any news in this article, save that I don't think England thinks we're as good as Steve Waugh seems to think England thinks...if you see what I mean!?

    England have greater batting depth than the Aussies, but I think the Aussies have greater bowling depth, at least in terms of quick bowlers. England are definitely favourites, but it could be close and the Aussies will have their chances. No news here! At the end of the day, catches win matches (which is why England lost to SA last summer - would've been 2-1 to England if we'd held our chances)...so the team that catches best may well win it!

  • phunny_game on March 29, 2013, 18:36 GMT

    The failures in India were because of the conditions... Lets admit the English spinners shouldn't be considered so much a threat since both of them will hardly play together... The bowling of Australia is Relatively inexperienced but they do have the firepower... And batting does look weaker than England but is still feel they will do well. I expect a lot from Phil Hughes. Clarke as always is pivotal to the team. Watson is expected to bowl as well. Ed Cowan is a pretty solid player, though he hasn't converted the promise into stats. Also Henriques may be a good option considering the conditions. Overall, i feel they have a good chance to give a tough competition to England...

  • on March 29, 2013, 18:34 GMT

    And the phoney war of words begins. Australia go back to their routine of getting an ex-player to bad mouth England on the eve of an Ashes series. England shouldn't fall for the trick again.

  • GermanPlayer on March 29, 2013, 18:33 GMT

    It surprises me how people use the arguments of 'is over 30' and 'has lost some pace' to downplay the effects of a key bowler. I have been hearing that about Steyn and Anderson for some time now. As a bowler improves, he adapts to his own strengths. Most realize that they can bring their pace down after having reached a certain skill level. And then they use their fast deliveries to surprise the batsmen. So they haven't lost their ability to bowl fast, only they can do better by bowling slower.

    Anyone familiar with the name Kaliis? Doesn't he take around 2 wickets every game? The reason is that he bowls skillfully below his normal pace and when he delivers a bouncer at his good pace(like Azhar Ali in the first test), the batsmen is surprised!

  • GeoffreysMother on March 29, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    Narkovian .. to be fair England do not keep saying they are good , but their are a lot of people pointing out how poor/desperate the current Aussies are. Look at the number of people touting Jackson Bird as one of the people to bring the Ashes home to Australia: fine prospect for the future he may be, but I think he has played one or two tests against Sri Lanka and one on his home ground. A bit desperate don't you think?

  • ddlj26 on March 29, 2013, 18:32 GMT

    I think otherwise MR Steve Waugh, Both australia and England are not as good as they proclaim they are ... they are mediocre sides who are able to produce a series win here and there.. otherwise overall not good... The only consistently good side right now is South Africa, even they are one dale steyn injury away from being mediocre... not dominantly good is what i am trying to say!!

  • on March 29, 2013, 18:21 GMT

    The lethargic scoring rate of the top three - Cook, Compton, and Trott may prove a problem for the English.

  • on March 29, 2013, 18:16 GMT

    I don't think England think they are that strong. So the premise that Waugh starts with is flawed from the outset. Braod is terribly inconsistent, Anderson is well over 30, Swann is injured 40% of the time and Finn does nothing at all with the ball. No swing and very little seam. BOwling IS an issue. However I'm not that impressed with these so called "Young Aussie Super Seamers" as this site put it 2 months ago. Fairly good, might be great one day, but they certainly aren't now. And as for Aussie batting.. The less said the better.

  • CricketingStargazer on March 29, 2013, 18:14 GMT

    I'm afraid that Australia are also nothing like as good as they think either...

  • Tlotoxl on March 29, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Pretty much every team has potential but potential does not win you tests. Aus may be able to take 20 wickets but can they do it quicker and cheaper than Anderson, Broad, Swann, Finn, Bresnan, Tremlett etc?

    As for England's batsmen Cook Trott, KP, Bell & Prior really strugged in 10/11 didn't they? averages of 127, 89, 60, 65 & 50...

  • jackthelad on March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    Dream on. It is not a question of England being particularly good, it is one of Australia being - at best - a second-rate outfit. They haven't had a side worth talking about for three years or so (the odd individual effort doesn't make a team) and they aren't good at accepting that fact.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 29, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    people are reading a bit too much into 4-0 whitewash of Australia in India ,SPIN was the key factor in that result , yes England bats and bowls spin better than Aussies but i don't see how that will be a big factor for matches in England and Australia , only problem i see is Steve smith is not that good against pace and usman khawaja has never got a proper run in international cricket , might be a bit tough for him to go out and start delivering instantly against likes of Anderson.

  • Narkovian on March 29, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Nice try S.Waugh. I don't think for a minute AUS can win Ashes. But I do agree that ENG are not as good as they keep on telling us they are. Just that AUS are just awful. ! They'll need to bowl ENG out for 200 or less every time to give their bowlers an even chance.

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:24 GMT

    Yes steve was right, England unable to produce their strength in NZ, so its time for Ozz bowlers to stake claim of victory in ashes. England is good in England but they can be beatable as like SA did. So Ozzies play well and earn some good credit, forget what happened in India and play with your strength and Ashes is yours.

  • on March 29, 2013, 17:15 GMT

    People need to remember that anything can happen in cricket.

    India are very good in home conditions. Being a New Zealander, i didn't read to much into that result. English conditions will suit Australia better too.

    But England at home are a strong side. But equally, they have shown that they can even struggle against a struggling NZ side.

    England said they would just have to turn up to win against us... Being cocky isn't always the best way to go. Australians are born fighters. The ashes will be hardly fought out! Coming from a NZ perspective.

  • Shan156 on March 29, 2013, 17:07 GMT

    @Ramanujam Sridhar, and Trott failed in NZ? Since when did averaging over 50 in a series considered a failure? Boy, standards must be really high in your part of the world.

  • Shan156 on March 29, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    @Ramanujam Sridhar, "Ponting who took the english bowlers to the cleaners for years on end" would this be the same Ricky Ponting whose average against England is his lowest? So, if he took our bowlers to the cleaners, he basically destroyed Indian bowlers against whom he averages 54, and Pakistani bowlers against whom he averages 67. Perhaps you are confused with his performances in India where he averages the lowest of all countries. He had couple of poor tours to India but atoned for it in his later tours. He completely destroyed the Indian bowlers in each of India's tours down under.

  • mikey76 on March 29, 2013, 17:03 GMT

    Cook v Warner no contest. 49 av plays 44 av. Compton v Cowan no contest. 40 av/32 av. Trott v Hughes no contest. 50 av/33av. KP v Watson no contest. 49 av/35av. Bell v Clarke 46/50av Clarke is a class player. No.6 hard to judge as both sides haven't fully settled on it. Prior v Wade no contest 45av/34av plus Priors keeping is better. Broad v Siddle both have similar bowling avg's 31/29 but Broad has a test hundred and batting avg of 25. Swann v Lyon no contest 212 test wickets on all surfaces and an average under 30 speaks for itself. Finn v Pattinson, both up and coming quicks but I would have Pattinson as he swings the ball. Anderson v Starc, no contest. 300 test wickets, superb slip fielder, probably the best fielding fast bowler of the modern era. So how do Australia win? I'm sure England won't be complacent like they were against NZ.

  • Shan156 on March 29, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    @Mitty2, in case you didn't know, we drew our last test series with SA in SA 1-1 too. And, yeah, all our bowlers average around 30 but Anderson has played 80 tests and all around the world. Come back (if and) when your bowlers have played 80 tests around the world. We all saw what the great young Aussie pacemen did in India. And, it is hilarious to see you making fun of our batsmen. Sans Clarke, do you have one decent test batsman? If Steven Smith is playing in your top 5 and Peter Siddle is your top scorer in both innings of a test, we all know how hopeless that batting order must be.

    How was that 0-4 thrashing? Must be an honor to be the first team to lose 4 tests in a series to India. lol.

  • Shan156 on March 29, 2013, 16:49 GMT

    @johntycodes, that would be 2 series win in their last 6 test series - they lost to Pak, drew with SL, beat WI, lost to SA, beat India, and drew with NZ. Yes, does not make for great reading but remember that 4 out of those 6 were away series out of which they lost only one. The one that they lost at home was to a superb SA side. So, they have won 2, drawn 2, and lost 2 out of the last 6 they played. Not a great record but not hopeless either. The Ashes will be played in Eng. against an Aussie side who have just suffered a 0-4 thrashing at the hands of the Indians. Perhaps England are not as good as they think but Aus. aren't as good as Steve thinks either.

    And, you make it sound as if the India series win was so easy:-) Get this clear - no other team has defeated India in India since 2004-2005. It was a terrific achivement. They did slip in NZ though but were good enough to salvage a draw. I am sure they will raise their game at home against the old enemy.

  • on March 29, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    The only problem is for english bowlers is that they relay heavily on the anderson yes he can take wickets but there must be support.Lets have a look at wonderful african attack steyn comes with new ball and attack off stump with his full in-swing delivery and always provides wicket but from other end the new guy named philander gives nothing at all and might also take wicket.South africa always bowls in patnership so england also must learn jimmy producing one heck of an over troubling the batsman and broad,finn coming and relasing the pressure.Thats why we see jimmy not being on the peak as he was 8 months back.

  • on March 29, 2013, 16:47 GMT

    probably nobody paid attention to one important comment, having 1 female player per T20 team. I had this in my mind for a while, its totally a good model in both terms, developing woman's cricket and buisiness model by having good fame. T20 is definitely suffering from some bad fame, and having 1 female player per side will definitely help them improve their image, specially IPL teams can definitely help from it. Hope big bash does it soon and succeeds so that IPL can copy one more good idea :)...

  • on March 29, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    Aussie can beat England in ashes. In India condition was very different but in England Bowlers can purchase a lor from wickets. players like warner,Cowan and Hughes can score BIG. Trust them.....They are excellent

  • JG2704 on March 29, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    @5Wombats - Think you're a little harsh on some of the Aus players. I'd say Starc and Siddle are certainly better than you have them down as

  • Damo_s on March 29, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    As an England supporter I would love to see a seam attack of Anderson, Onions and Tremlett. However, this is unlikely and I can see England sticking with Finn and Broad which will reduce our chances of winning greatly.

  • chriss33 on March 29, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Steve Waugh sees Phillip Hughes as along term test batsman however I beg to differ, mainly because he reads the deliveries to late. he got away with it in home conditions against Sri Lanka but suffered in India .Englands bowlers will have him for breakfast. Watching Hughes out there makes Chanderpaul look like the rolls Royce of batting.

  • Damo_s on March 29, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    LOL at the mind games already. The way to look at it is this. Consistency aside, the current England team have played well and stuffed India in India recently. The current Australian team have not stuffed anyone recently. Siddle and Hilfy are not new bowlers and have been tonked out of the park before by England. Starc was completely ineffective in India. Cummins and pattinson look good and could be a real danger, that is for certain. The series could go either way depending on which team gets the luck of the toss and / or finds its mojo. Before the NZ series it looked like England were clear favourites but the NZ tour was dreadflul and has put doubts in my mind. Australia could win with ease if the same NZ touring England team turn rather than the India beating England team. Its going to be a good series, so lets not fill the boards with pointless predictions when there is clearly no obvious favourite at the moment. (England supporter)

  • johntycodes on March 29, 2013, 15:27 GMT

    Steve Waugh is right. England have won 1 out of they're last 6 test series. Apart from the india series they haven't beaten anyone including new zealand, pakistan, sri lanka and south africa.

  • 5wombats on March 29, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    @Mitty2 (March 29, 2013, 12:41 GMT) You're having a laugh, right? On one hand you say that England batsmen are "constantly getting bundled out for low scores (pak, NZ, SL)" and then in the next sentence you say; "The reason is many of the English batsmen have very good batting averages and the team sometimes plays very well collectively (India, 10/11 ashes)". So @Mitty - how did these England batsmen get good averages? Was it luck or was it because they play well in a variety of conditions? You mention Siddle in the same sentence as Anderson - now that must definitely be your idea of a joke! I don't agree with you about the hype of the Australian bowlers; half of them got belted in the 2010/11 Ashes and the other half are either unproven abroad or constantly injured. But it's the spin bowling department that must be the biggest worry for Australia. Aus may have quicks but they need a spinner to tie up an end - who is that going to be? And as for the Aus batsmen - see my earlier post.

  • on March 29, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    I rather agree with my namesake Simon Hull here? Much as I like Steve Waugh & REALLY liked him as a Cricketer & Batsmen back in the day? He forgets something VERY important here - Two facts in fact?

    First HOWever good Australia's bowlers are? Not only ARE England's better? They are also battle hardened AND experienced in the ways of the Ashes with an 'armour plating' of Ashes campaign experience that Australia's green attack just does NOT have given that their English counterparts? Are a battle hardened UNIT that has won 3 of the last FOUR Ashes contests Home AND Away with only the sunset of Australia's OWN Final Golden Side in a Looong series in 2007 being the blemish in that list of wins.

    Second? He (Mr Waugh) says NOTHING about Batsmen - either Australia's OR Englands? And no wonder. The Australian Batting Lineup is as far inferior to Engalnds NOW? As Englands EVER was in Aus' glory days. Also? As mentioned elsewhere here? England are a UNIT all-round? Aus are FAR from that....

  • on March 29, 2013, 15:11 GMT

    my squad for the ashes series in england will be: 1.batsmen: warner, cowan, hughes, clarke, watson, khawaja, burns. 2. wicket keepers: haddin, paine 3. seamers: siddle, starc, harris, pattinson, bird and sayers 4. spinner: lyon , agar 5.allrounder: faulkner and henriques

  • vrn59 on March 29, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Continued from my earlier post... Australia's top order looked fragile even against Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma. They simply don't have the technique or the temperament to handle James Anderson and co. The pace bowling department, however, is the one area where Australia look competitive with regards to England. A fit James Pattinson is one of the world's most dangerous bowlers, and Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc etc. can all be very useful. Of course, they will have to adapt to English conditions well, since most of them have never played Test cricket there before. Anderson looks to be England's trump card, with Steven Finn and Stuart Broad backing him up. Broad has looked off-colour over the past year, but seems to be improving again; I have always been a fan of his, if only he can be more consistent. Finn is young and maybe a bit raw at times, but he has good pace and is fast maturing into an excellent Test bowler. I believe England will win!

  • 2.14istherunrate on March 29, 2013, 14:32 GMT

    I am just wondering which bowler of the Aussie pack is going to take 20 wickets. They seem all either injured or bland. England won 2 Tests in India and the series. Australia have just lost 4-0. Surely that counts for something.Apart from Clarke,Smith and Siddle runs were like hens' teeth for the touirists, while apart from Ahmedabad the English batsmen were unphased by the spin threat. I agree with Waugh up to a point about Watson, but the others have little technique to base their game on. I have a few hats to choose from to eat if Australia win the Ashes back. England can hold them to at least 2-1-hopefully more

  • vrn59 on March 29, 2013, 14:27 GMT

    Although I agree with Steve Waugh's statement that England aren't as good as they're made out to be, I must add that they are still a much better unit than Australia. They are more methodical, settled, organised, perhaps so much so that they can be a bit boring at times, but still, England are very good. Cook, Trott, Pietersen, Bell and Prior are all proven Test batsmen averaging over 45 over several years. They are all at the peak of their powers. Although Australia has one such such batsman in Michael Clarke, that's about it. Shane Watson can't build a long innings, Ed Cowan seems to be around simply to learn rather than score, Phillip Hughes is an exciting prospect but is still a bit raw and David Warner's first-class credentials are questionable. Matthew Wade is nowhere near as good a wicketkeeper or batsman as Prior is. England also score higher in the spin department as Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar are both better than Nathan Lyon. To be continued...

  • Hammond on March 29, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    I think Steven Waugh has to say this to tow the party line, whether or not he believes it is another thing entirely. Nothing wrong with optimism though. Interesting that he compares the current side with the 1985/6 side, the side that lost the ashes 3-1 in England. That team had Boon, Border, Wessels & Phillips, with Lawson, Alderman & McDermott as the pace attack and Bennett, Holland & Matthews as the spinners, and Simon O'Donnell as the all rounder. Australia currently would dearly love to have a side like that. I think Botham was right, this is the worst Australian side I have ever seen.

  • Smahuta on March 29, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Waugh is right, the aussies can win the ashes back. Both sides are pretty ordinary right now, so its an even contest. This same side gave Sa a decent run for their money at home, no reason they shouldn't be able to do the same to england. 10 matches will be a pretty dull affair tho.

  • hhillbumper on March 29, 2013, 14:10 GMT

    it is always amazing how the mind games start early from the Aussies. If England do lose to them then it will be because of English failings. Aus do potentially have some good pacer bowlers but given their injury records how long will any of them survive?

    hopefully England have learnt from the tour of New Zealand and hopefully are angry enough to concentrate on winning the series.

  • on March 29, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    Much as I admire Steve Waugh I think he is wrong here.

    What we have to remember here is that the last time England played Australia it was 3/1 with all the wins by an innings in AUSTRALIA. It was a thrashing. And since then, have England got any worse - because for Australia to win they must. If you look at the 2 sides picked for the last test in that series England could still play 7 of that side(Cook, Trott, Pieterson, Bell, Prior, Anderson and Swann) none of which are any worse than they were . The replacements (Compton for Strauss, Root for Colly, Broad for Bres and Finn for Tremlett say) are pretty even too.

    If you look at the Aussies from the Sydney side they could perhaps pick 5 (Clarke, Watson, Hughes, Siddle, Hilf). Are any potential replacements for the other 6 significantly better ? I don't see any Aussie batters being as good as Hussey for one...

    I know Clarke is world class but he can't bat at both ends. I think the aussies will be thrashed again..

  • kkrish555 on March 29, 2013, 13:45 GMT

    Australia have great chance of winning Ashes because of their bowling attack. A couple of batsman carrying the team through series is what they want.

  • Fandecricket on March 29, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I agree with Steve. We are looking at Aussie win in the upcoming Ashes. Aussies are not going to be trampled twice and it's true England think they are stronger than they are. They have lost matches against Pakistan, India and had a hard time against NZ. Aussie bowling is far better than England's.

  • Vkarthik on March 29, 2013, 13:36 GMT

    Australian top order is a joke. They are struggling against Swing of Bhuvaneswar on flat pitches. How are they going to survive in swinging conditions against Anderson.

  • on March 29, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    I almost choked on my pizza at Waugh's comment: "Shane Watson, I think, has the potential to be a really great Test batsman." You cannot talk about a batsman having "potential" who made his Test debut EIGHT years ago! So many injuries since, has delivered all of two centuries - yeah, count 'em. Two centuries in eight years in and out of Test side is not good enough. He'll stay in side if fit, there are too few alternatives, but give him two maybe three years tops until inevitable injury-forced retrirement, with no more than 6-7 Test tons to his name. If you want to talk about batsmen with potential in the current set-up, look at Warner (if he can change his attitude), Hughes (maybe) and Khawaja, not Watson (almost 32 and on the way out soon).

  • jimbond on March 29, 2013, 13:28 GMT

    I would more or less agree with Steve Waugh. In recent times, there is not much to choose between the two teams. The only thing in England's favour has been their whitewashing of India, both home and away. This has got to do with both the ineptitude of Indian batsmen - in seaming and spinning conditions, and the effectiveness of Swann and Panesar on Indian pitches. The match between the two teams is going to be very close. The english attack is too dependent on Swann and Anderson, and their batting too dependent on Cooke and Pietersen. If Pietersen or Swann do not recover fully from their injuries of if the other two have an off day, and if the Aussie fast men are consistent and if Clark or any of the other batsmen perform, the match could very well go Australia's way. It will definitely not be a one sided series.

  • Majorraki on March 29, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    well odds are stacked heavily in favour of England in England when Aus tour the first leg of ashes.I dont think any of Australian top order except Clarke or to some extent cowan are capable of handling the swinging ball(Warner I feel will be a sitting duck for Anderson),their inability in playing quality spin is even more apparent(imagine Hughes playing Swann!),I feel Aus will require the same sting in their tail that helped them post decent scores here at India though I doubt English pacemen will be as generous.I doubt if Lloyn will have any impact on England.Having said that the second leg where England will be touring Aussies should be very interesting

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on March 29, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Steve waugh does have a point , if Australia can hang in and get a decent score , the likes of starc , pattinson and siddle can mount a serious push to win especially in helpful English conditions , but i would select calum ferguson for shane watson and usman khawaja should also come in , a good xi would be

    ed cowan , warner , phil hughes , usman khawaja , clarke , callum ferguson , wade , starc , pattinson , siddle , lyon

  • on March 29, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    Ha, ha, ha!! Of course Steve Waugh is going to say that. You don't REALLY think he's gonna come out and say what we all know and see - that Australia is completely rubbish at present. I don't support England or Aus so I can be objective. England are currently better than Aus. However, England are underperforming at present (vs NZ) and Aus have the ability to occasionally play better than their current form suggests (they played better against SA than their ranking and form suggested.) Given the history and importance of the Ashes series (at least to them) I reckon it'll be a close affair with no team having complete dominance. A good knock here, a good bowling spell there could turn the entire series. On a personal note I have to agree with Geoffrey Boycott (and I hate agreeing with him) - after all the years of a very arrogant and rude Aus team I am thoroughly enjoying their demise. Take a look at SA and learn how to be humble and gracious while being number one.

  • Mitty2 on March 29, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @trickstar, again, Id just like to see your win loss if you played SA 5 times.. In which we did. We played them in SA as well and happened to even the series; your lot would have absolutely no chance in SA, I can only dream to see philander get cook nicking off every innings, and amla and kallis having a feast on all of your bowlers with their 30+ averages.

    @handy87, good point, but England are also severly missing, probably even more than we are. Flintoff was one of your best ever players/captains, I'm sure that finn's bowling and batting more than lives up to freddie's.. Hah. With root's mediocre at best FC average of 37, along with his test average of 30 , more than makes up for collingwood's departure. Morgan, bopara and Patel have all failed to succeed collingwood, and root looks headed down that path too, despite him being your "future captain". And please, Compton an adequate replacement for Strauss? Hah.

    Face it, both teams are much worse than the '09 ashes teams.

  • on March 29, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    Maybe Mr Waugh should concentrate on the state of Australian cricket before commenting on England, the aussies are in decline the worst aussie team i've seen in years, we will beat them in the Ashes home and away!!!!

  • handyandy on March 29, 2013, 12:46 GMT

    I don't think Australia can beat England in England ... however England in Australia could be a different story.

    Batsmen like Warner, Hughes and others will be far more effective under Australian conditions. Australia's pacemen will also grow a leg under Australian conditions.

  • Robert1612 on March 29, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    Agree with S Waugh, Aus are a chance to beat Eng but most likely on the Australian leg. Would be a HUGE effort to come away with a 2-2 draw in England, would need the batsmen to fire in two of the tests and then agree our bowling unit should get 20 wkts. Any combination of Harris (after his recent match heroics, must play in 3 tests), Pattinson, Siddle, Starc, Bird and possibly Hilffy (prior good form in Eng conditions) should do the job. Also IF Watto is fit, 2 or 3 4-5 over spells/innings will be useful. Batting should be built around Cowan Warner Hughes Clake Watson (if bowling) Smith/Khawaja Paine as the top seven. Wade cannot be in the side .. misses too many chances. As well as Clarke getting the runs, need one batsman to have a breakout series (50+ av.), and 2 others to average 40-45+ for the series, plus one of the bowlers contributing with the bat every test match!! English conditions should be conducive to fairer cricket/pitches than what occured in India.

  • TeamRocker on March 29, 2013, 12:42 GMT

    I've been reading some comments here giving reasons for why Watson should ope...and I absolutely agree. Get Cowan at no.3, and if Watson or Warner fail, open with Cowan and let Khawaja bat at 3. If Cowan fails, replace him with Khawaja. If both openers fail, get in Rogers or Doolan. Here's my starting XI for the first game: Warner, Watson, Cowan, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Starc, Patto, Siddle, Lyon/Bird depending on how the Trent Bridge pitch looks at that time.

    Full 15 man squad: Warner, Watson, Cowan, Khawaja, Doolan/Rogers, Hughes, Clarke, Smith, Wade, Siddle, Starc, Lyon, Patto, Bird, Faulkner

  • Mitty2 on March 29, 2013, 12:41 GMT

    @trickstar, that's cute, discounting something entirely just because there's hype about it. There's a reason there's hype about it. Just like there's a huge hype about England's batting and overall team, despite the batting constantly getting bundled out for low scores (pak, NZ, SL) and the team's performance usually despite the Indian series leaving a lot to be desired. The reason is many of the English batsmen have very good batting averages and the team sometimes plays very well collectively (India, 10/11 ashes). And of course, the reason for the hype about our pace attack is that every single quick who is worthy of selection has a very very good average. Siddle's Average is better than anderson's, and every other england quick. Pattinson and Harris share a phenomenal average of 23. And bird, the best of the lot, has a FC average of 18, and from two tests it's just 16.

    You can't discount this fact, our depth is amazing, it's just that our best attack has not yet been implemented.

  • Nutcutlet on March 29, 2013, 12:39 GMT

    I have a funny feeling that these B2B Ashes' series are going to involve a larger than anticipated number of players for both sides. Getting 11 fit men is going to challenge both camps, match by match, esp. when it comes to the fast bowling resources. In consequence, the results are likely to be skittish with both sides chalking up wins in both series; it may well be that bench strength decides the overall winner. If both sides are able to put out their best 11s then I think that England has a distinct edge as its batting is more Test-hardened & overall more reliable. The best Oz fast bowler attack (Starc, Siddle, Pattinson, IMO) may just shade it over England's, but Lyon is not in the same league as Swann.

  • 5wombats on March 29, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    Australia are just a shadow of what they were. Waugh can talk them up as much as he likes but the facts don't support him. If you look at the players one by one; Watson - over-rated fullstop. Hughes - a maybe man. Cowan - suspect and not of Test class. Warner - a slogger England bowlers will already have his number. Clarke - exudes class the one quality bat Aus have atm. Khawaja - a player of squad calibre only. Wade - combative, but will find it very hard in England. Hilfenhaus - you've got to be kinding me. Harris - I like Harris, but will he be injured? Johnson - forget him. Pattinson - ? maybe ok if he isn't injured. Starc - Ok he's a prospect. Siddle - an honest trier, nothing more. Lyon - please... Smith - same. Aussies will always be stoked when they come to England, ALWAYS fight. But this time I just don't see it going the Aussies way.

  • NixNixon on March 29, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Eng will win ashes for sure, Australia do not have the fire power. They have an over-hyped pace attach which some aussies consider better than the SA attack (biggest joke ever), apparently aus have bowling depth, well look what smith and amla did to their so called bowling depth in the 3rd sa vs aus test, destroyed them! and their batting is also a problem. Eng have trott, cook, peterson etc. Aus have clark and ............. yea thats it.

  • Handy87 on March 29, 2013, 12:29 GMT

    I really can't see how Australia can win in England- they had a far better team than they have now in 2009 and England's side wasn't as good or settled as it is now and England still won that series. England's batting is stronger and their bowling attack will be more effective in home conditions. Even if Finn or Broad don't fire they can still call on Tremlett (who hopefully will be fit) and Onions who is a very good bowler in English conditions. Australia will really struggle for runs against the swinging ball- their batsmen don't have good enough techniques to combat it and England's bowlers will use the same tactics they did in Australia in 2010/11- probe away around off stump and get the ball swinging/reversing.

  • ThemanID on March 29, 2013, 12:20 GMT

    Do Australia realize that English bowlers are the same guys more or less that smashed aus in 2010? And what's the difference between Ed Cowan and katich. There is no hussey to save you.

  • Trickstar on March 29, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    @ crafty-Rabbi LOL there's a lot of supposition there mate. If you're going to make statements at least get them right. You say KP has been pretty poor over the last 18 months but yet he averages 52 in that period and has played in the last year 3 of the best inning you could see, add to that he averages 53 against Australia anyway. You haven't got a clue how Swann will be bowling, he'd been bowling really well before he had to go for surgery and he was bowling with pain, so to say he won't be at his best is guess work. I do agree, it will be no foregone conclusion and most England fans know it won't be either.

    The biggest myth that seems to be going around is how great this Aus bowling attack is but yet they've struggled to take 20 wickets against SA and now in India. It's looked good at home facing Sub Continent sides but so what, that's easy. But the thing is the so called depth and how good this attack is is built on that. Add to that injury list and I wouldn't be so confident

  • Barnesy4444 on March 29, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Australia still has quicks Cummins, Bird, Sayers and Harris on the sidelines. I especially agree with Waugh's assessment of Hughes, I predict he will break out this series.Gower 1985, Waugh/Taylor 1989, Warne 1993, Ponting 1997, Flintoff 2005, Vaughan 2007, Cook 2011, Hughes 2013?

  • Trickstar on March 29, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    @GrouseMan Aus has caused headaches for SA but England haven't, rubbish, you must have missed the 2nd & 3rd test where England had a chance of winning both going into the final session. The hubris about Ozzies series against SA is hilarious. The Australian pace attack is steadily becoming the biggest overhyped thing in cricket. As for you're superior win loss record, it's one game difference & if you'd have played as many games in the sub continent as England yours would be worse.

  • on March 29, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    England may have an inflated sense of their abilities, but nothing like as inflated as Steve Waugh's opinion of the Australian batting line-up! I suspect that the Australian attack will cause England some problems (especially Starc) but they won't need to score that many runs to beat this Australian side.

  • Ozcricketwriter on March 29, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    I think that Australia can win in England, but it would be very unlikely. Consider that nowadays, since the modifications to the Duke ball, winning in England is almost as difficult as winning in India is - and we just saw how badly Australia did in India! Sure, Pakistan and South Africa recently won in England, but their bowlers are very different to Australia's. They can make the Duke ball reverse swing. Can Australia? I seriously doubt it. England conditions also require a genuine spin bowler - not to mention that many of England's players are weak against spin. Nathan Lyon will likely have to tour but perhaps someone like Ashton Agar would be useful to have on tour.

    My squad:

    Watson, Warner, Cowan, Silk, Clarke, Khawaja, Steve Smith, Wade, Faulkner, Ryan Harris, Starc, Johnson, Pattinson, Agar, Lyon

  • PACERONE on March 29, 2013, 11:42 GMT

    I could not agree more.I pay attention to the wicket taking balls bowled by English bowlers and I know that batsmen play rash and unnecessary stroke to help the english bowlers.Australia has batsmen that are capable of putting pressure on the english bowlers.We know that they do not handle pressure well.Witness how the get angry with their own team mates when things are not going their way.Lyons might not be rated as highly as Swann,but he is capable of causing english batsmen lots of problems.Aggressive Australian fast bowling will cause havock in England.They bowl closer to the stumps and body than the english bowlers do.Fitness goes both teams,so advantage to Australia who have more quality fast bowlers than England.

  • on March 29, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    Sorry Mr Waugh, I do not know where this talk of the Aussie bowling 'Strength' comes from but it surely isn't from planet earth. From what I have seen over the past 2 years, the Australian bowling is like a lottery in that you never know exactly who is actually going to be in the line up. They have used so many different players that it might be difficult for them to know who exactly are the best bowlers to do the job.

  • LALITHKURUWITA on March 29, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    I have respect to Waugh but in this he also got a typical Aussie mentality. Discuss your own problems rather than the opposition. Based on the current form of Poms and Aussies, 10 years Aussie boy can predict the outcome of the Ashes. Lalith - Sydney

  • andrew-schulz on March 29, 2013, 11:25 GMT

    Was that 'village blacksmith' or 'village idiot'. As for front foot lunge, just shut up. Ajmal is miles ahead of Swann as best spinner in the world. Clarke has not batted at 6 for ages, and moved himself up to 3 in his last Test. It is good to post a heap of inaccuracy, and then just conclude it with LOL, but it would be good if you knew the slightest thing about the game. England's failure to win a single Test in NZ (like their failure to win a single Test in the West Indies last time...oh and Pakistan,...oh and Zimbabwe ... Oh and they've won one out of their last 8 in Sri Lanka) makes your arguments look foolish. Australia' s away record is too good to say they are 6 or 7 in the world. England's is not.

  • DarrenJames on March 29, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    he gets picked) Smith and Wade. Australia will be a different team come the Ashes series at home and that's when we will be well on our way to becoming a brilliant cricketing nation again. It's going to take time, experimenting and a few losses to get back to what we once were.

  • GrouseMan on March 29, 2013, 11:18 GMT

    WAIT, WAIT!! England are deserved favourites for the first leg of the Ashes, but those considering it a foreglone conclusions should consider a few things: 1. Swann (aver. 40), Panesar (45), Anderson (39) and Broad (35) have woeful records vs Australia. 2. Since the last Ashes Aus have a superior win-loss record (11-7 vs 11-8). 3. Australia have caused major headaches for the world's best side, SA, both home and away, something England have been unable to do. 4. Australia's leading pacemen - Pattinson, Siddle, Harris and Starc - all bowl in the mid-140s a good 10kmh quicker than Anderson and Broad.

  • DarrenJames on March 29, 2013, 11:17 GMT

    To the people saying Ed Cowan should be a number 3, please have your brains examined. No. 3's should be the most versatile and adaptable person in the team and Cowan is not that. Cowan is an old style opener, digs in and gets the shine off the ball whereas a number 3 should be able to counter attack with a wide variety of agressive and riskful shots. Cowan doesn't do that. He plays what he has to. Now to the actual topic; It's no lie England underestimate Australia and by their own fault. They have only really payed attention to us during the previous nightmare in India, they haven't seen the bowling attack that tore India apart and came so close to taking us to #1 in the world. Steve Waugh is right in what he says but wrong at the same time. We do have the potential to win the Ashes back in the coming year but not in the coming series. Back in Australia, I feel we have a strong chance. Our squad will have developed, we would of found out a lot about the likes of Hughes, Khawaja (if

  • Porky_PigTheToon on March 29, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    It would be better if Waugh guides Aus selectors to find some Talent in Aus domestic circuit for Test Cricket as likes of Henriques, Maxwell and Smith are jokes for this format.

    If Aus have to think of winning Ashes with whatever resources available, their line-up should be like this:-

    1) Warner 2) Watson 3) Hughes/ Cowan / S. Marsh 4) Clarke (c) 5) D. Hussey(I always wonder how come this guy didn't make it to test team with all his talent) 6) Haddin (Yes play him as a specialist batsman, He is way better than likes of Smith, Henriques and Maxwell) 7) Wade (wk) 8) Siddle 9) Starc 10) Pattinson 11) Lyon

    This team can give tough competition to Eng.

  • on March 29, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Lets start with the basics. First: whoever is the keeper he will bat at seven. Second: Pick six recognized batsmen and no allrounders. Third; Pick 3 quicks and the best spinner. Fourth don't mess with this structure.

    Watson, Smith, Maxwell and Henriques are all-rounders and as such are not good enough to play as a batsman only. Hughes has had enough chances and he isn't good enough. Warner to come in at number 6, he has a poor technique for an opener.

    Clark is the only Aussie batsman to average over forty. Dump the rest and start playing the kids.

  • miketurney on March 29, 2013, 10:58 GMT

    Yes Steve - Problem is , Australia are worse than you think. Cant see Aussie's regaining the ashes in England. That would mean actually winning the series. At least England have had a kick up the backside in NZ and have actually gained experience for Root and Compton. with Swann and KP to return, there is room for improvement. Can't see where the great improvement is going to come from with Australia. Shane Watson has "potential" which is ironic, given his age and injury record. Biggest problem the Aussies have is no spinners. This is the worst Aussie side since the Packer days

  • riverlime on March 29, 2013, 10:40 GMT

    England beat India in India, and a few months later the same beaten Indian team whitewashed Australia in India. Ergo, England would have beaten Australia in Indian conditions. HOWEVER....since the Ashes series will be in English conditions, the pacey Aus attack may, just may, have a chance. As for women being involved in the Big Bash, it would be nothing more than a publicity stunt. You may as well ask Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman, for the quality of the batting you will get. As for the bowling, I'm sure Serena Williams could send down a few balls faster than the fastest women's bowler. Don't get me started on the fielding!.......Let's be realistic here. Would anyone be chasing after a mid-70's (mph) bowler, or a batsman who has never faced a single 90 mph delivery?

  • on March 29, 2013, 10:27 GMT

    well they better get their act together quickly. Australia's batsmen have a problem with the moving ball as it was demonstrated during the CB series in adelaide,bribane and sydney against the likes of kulasekera. Now Anderson finn and whoever in england in may and june will find a lot of sideways movement both in the air and off the wicket, not to mention swann where you are given to bowl at a team who just got taken to the cleaners by the spinners. So steve Waugh's comment's i wouldnt worry too much.

  • on March 29, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    Waugh fancies the Aussies to win and Glenn McGrath is going for a 5 nil Aussie white wash.

    Look, the Aussies have a promising seam attack, but they are physically fragile and will probably use 6 or 7 seamers throughout the series. Their batting is weak.

    As for England? They need to give their seamers some series work in the county games, they have been protected too much. Swann will out bowl Lyon and Cook, Trott, Pieterson, Bell and Root will all score runs.

    England will win and the Aussie camp will self destruct...again.

  • on March 29, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    It is this cocky attitude that is leading to downfall of Australian cricket. Aussies bowlers could do nothing in India and even though the pitches in England are pace friendly there is not much bounce as in Perth or Melbourne. England had to have a bad experience and they got that timely experience from Kiwis. Also Aussie batters will be cannon fodder to English bowlers like Anderson and Swan who is even better than Ashwin. What Guarantee that the Aussies batsmen will be able to face Swann who in India was better than Indian bowlers. In my opinion Ashes will be a distant dream for Aussies

  • VillageBlacksmith on March 29, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    "Shane Watson, I think, has the potential to be a really great Test batsman''... O really steve?? well after 75 test inns and only 2 test tons I wd respectfully suggest watto has moved on thru potential to a waste of time/talent/space... And at this moment in time it wd appear watto is on notice to perform or else or he will get ''katiched'' by the skipper... so perhaps you are not fully up to speed before spouting forth?? And as for ''we've got Dave Warner'' ??? he did not have a great time on his last trip to the UK like your other mentioned batter hugheso.... and patto didnt even take a single wicket in eng... im sure it will be closer than the 3 inns thrashing you were given last time and I know u have to puff these things up but try and stay at least in this cosmos

  • Beertjie on March 29, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @Eightfa on (March 29, 2013, 8:15 GMT) I too remember 1989 but let's not live on memories. That team was 'lifted' by winning the '87 WC. And England at the time were pretty ordinary lacking any success except against us. Swann being less effective England being over-confident is grasping at straws. Drawing the series would be a realistic goal if we picked the right team and some stayed fit for long enough. So being competitive is a live possibility unless we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot selectionwise. But however good our pace bowlers are decent spinners and solid batters need to play, not 20/20 players with invisible talent. But I'm not going to bag Steve entirely, after all bowlers win matches. But Cummins is not ready -he should go on the A-tour. Will Bird be fit? How long will Harris last even with rotation? Starc after surgery? Then there are the spinners. Agar needs the A-tour. Is Fawad Ahmed eligible? By Nov most questions + the batting conundrums should be answered.

  • reddawn1975 on March 29, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    I think the likes of Maxwell,Smith Henriques and Wade need to be removed quite simply there good enough harsh but true.Cowan is on edge as well he is just not delivering and with players like Khwaja the Marsh brothers in the wings and another guy that just seems to deliver in the big games but goes under the radar Luke Buttworth.I think Mitch johnson should be in the squad you really could in England have Siddle ,,,Starc,,, Pattison and Johnson a 4 man quick squad and Hilfenhaus must be in this squad everyone loves Pete Siddle and is lion heart bowling efforts but dont forget the overs Hilfy has sent down as well the lad can bowl.i think there are some great batsmen around Australia and watching that last test in India i've never seen Australian players play with no ticker

  • on March 29, 2013, 10:11 GMT

    The New Zealand tour showed that England are not as good as they thought they were. But they are still good enough. 2-1 win away in India trumps 4-0 loss any day!!

  • gsingh7 on March 29, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    totally agree to Waugh. England are over rated side as shown by NZ recently.they barely escaped series loss to lowest ranked test team(apart from Bangladesh of course) everyone knows how they were thrashed by SA pace battery on their home grounds and how their (English) pace attack looked club class in front of SA bowlers. same sa bowlers looked 2 levels below aus in aus when aus pacers were on top of them in all 3 matches. diff was amla and kallis. i have full confidence in aus pacers to demolish English batsmen in any conditions. although same aus bowlers were toothless in front of resurgent Indian batting lineup which lead to unprecedented 4-0 whitewash of this once great cricket team. i predict 5-0 5-0 b2b ashes wins for Australia.

  • palla.avinash on March 29, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    well if Australian players don't get tired or fatigue of ipl they can still win ashes and England not playing ipl gives them advantage of being fresh and focused so they get likes of hilfenhous and harris as fresh as possible and and australin lower order batting is a very positive aspect in India series that will help them get crucial leads in ashes.

  • Brayde1 on March 29, 2013, 9:55 GMT

    I think Australia need to re-consider their top order. Hughes clearly has some potential to do well and it's disappointing to see him struggling at the moment but he does have the ability. Cowan hasn't really proved himself as of recent times either. The Aussie selectors persist in keeping him in the team but he has had no real good performances in the last few years. Warner seems to be doing pretty well in the top order too, he appears to have really worked hard at becoming a good test batsman and he has been making consistent scores of 50+ and I think he just needs to work on converting them to 100's rather than 70's and 80's. I think Watson needs to come back into the team as an all rounder and needs to be opening the batting with Warner. The only other person who possibly deserves to be in the top order is Shaun Marsh. He has talent and I think Aussies need to consider him.

    My XI: Warner, Watson, Hughes, Marsh, Clarke, Smith, Wade,Hilfenhaus or Starc , Siddle, Pattinson and Lyon.

  • jb633 on March 29, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    Anyone that thinks English fans believe we have the best bowling line up are completley wrong. Only yesterday I read an article from Mark Butcher stating how South Africa are streets ahead of anyone. South Africa are the no 1 side, this is a fact of life. No arguments. Our seam bowling is the big worry at the moment with none of our bowlers looking like they did 2 years ago. If England's seam attack fires we will hammer Australia both home and away. If they perform like they have over the last 18 months I expect a very tight series with poss Aus as favourites in both legs. Plain and simple we have got to get our guys playing FC cricket and firing again. No more excuses about being unfit/ underprepared or jaded. Just get plenty of overs under the belt and get the job done. For England to be competitive against SA we have got to get back to basics and swinging the ball again. If we can't swing it the guys do not have the pace to worry anyone.

  • SurlyCynic on March 29, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    I agree with Mr Waugh. My money is on Aus.

  • 200ondebut on March 29, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    I think the problem is more with the Aussies thinking they are still the world beaters they once was. Trouble is that they no longer have quality batsmen and Warne/McGrath to do the bowling. Hughes and Warner are not technically adept and this is constantly found out. There seamers are a strong point but ask Mitchell Johnston how easy it is to bring your game to England! I expect a closely fought series but unless England fail to perform in all departments the ashes will stay at Lords.

  • ygkd on March 29, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    There was a time when Steve Waugh was the only member of the Australian Test team who knew what it was like to lose a series to England. Now, that honour falls to Michael Clarke, in reverse. Since Ponting and Hussey retired, Clarke alone was there when Australia won an Ashes series. So who was in the team with Waugh when they won the Ashes back? It was Marsh, Taylor, Boon, Border, Jones, Healy, Hughes, Hohns, Lawson & Alderman. Now, the batting in that side was vastly superior to the current one, along with the keeping, the swing bowling and, one could probably say the spinning as well. A composite team? Try Taylor, Boon, Jones, Border, Clarke, S.Waugh, Healy, Hughes, Hohns, Lawson & Alderman. Yeah, the current mob are the spitting image of Border's team that flogged a decent enough English side!! And that side didn't include Mark Waugh. Australia will win the Ashes, just not in 2013.

  • HawK89 on March 29, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    If the Australian bowlers can get near 50 runs each, then yeah, the Australian bowlers can deliver the Ashes for them. Australia had their glory days, and so did the West Indies, It's time to step aside and let other teams with great talent shine without complaining about it. As for now, just enjoy the AU Women team being winners.

  • skkh on March 29, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    As an Aussie I would love to share Steve's optimism but sadly I cannot. Our bowlers are OK despite the frequent breakdowns but the batting is a huge headache. True England are not unbeatable and they have Anderson as their trump card. They have other bowlers who can be good in patches but their batting is far superior to ours. Regarding our batting the least said the better. If the ball is moving about as it does all our batsmen would be found wanting including Clarke. Only Cowan can stick on for a longer period of time but would not score much though. The other batsmen would be batting in a huge hurry as patience is foreign to them. And given our recent selections (Clarke is a selector too!!!) and our preoccupation with "all rounders" I doubt if the best available (on form) are selected. Sorry Steve I cannot see a win in any of the Ashes tests for us and the best that we can do with the help of rain would be a 0-3 loss.

  • on March 29, 2013, 9:40 GMT

    In one of your featured comments, "crafty-rabbi" assures us that "Pietersen has been pretty poor over the past 18 months." Oh yes? In that period Kevin Pietersen scored three big centuries, each of them a match-winning innings. He has averaged over 50 in every year that he has played test cricket except two in which he averaged over 40 (one of them was the year of his Achilles heel operation, the other was last year, where his failures in the UAE brought his average down). Only against Pakistan in the UAE did he fail. In the last series, he still scored a half-century despite being injured. KP remains our biggest match winner, our batsman most likely to score a first innings century.

  • on March 29, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    If Siddle, Pattinson and Starc are fit and firing (and have Hilfenhaus and Harris as back-up, not the dreadful Johnson) then Australia probably do have the pace bowling resources to win a series. However, I think England have just demonstrated they have the tough mentality and the batting line-up necessary to avoid losing a series, so I think both sides at full-strength will end up drawing with each other! So, players getting injured and losing form could be a deciding factor in the Ashes.

  • Mr_Ronan on March 29, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    SHORT MEMORIES haven't we? Suddenly Warner is a useless Test player despite prior to the Indian series having 1068 runs at 45 and averaging 42 vs SA, which has a pace attack STREETS ahead of England's. Don't forget...the Ashes will be played in conditions the polar opposite of India!

  • amitgarg78 on March 29, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    So the question is, will Australia field an all pace attack, given England managed to pass the subcontinent test? English batmen are capable of batting time, while the current Aussie lot haven't shown the technique against swing or spin. It might still come off in one or two innings, but shd Clarke fail to match up to his form in 2012, I can't see games going into 5th day!

  • 5wombats on March 29, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge. Why don't you ease off a bit mate? Look - we are allowed to not like Australians, that's fine. But don't forget - Australia and England invented Test cricket and arguably international competitive sport. England V Australia has given us the greatest games of cricket and will continue to do so - so why don't you settle down and show a bit of respect. Save your energies for @jonesy2 and @popcorn. When they come along we'll happily help you out!

  • 64blip on March 29, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    More straw men and column inches as the phoney war continues. Apart from FFL, which English supporters are displaying "stratospheric levels of confidence"? We're used to the hyperbole of our media, where a series victory turns the team into all-conquering heroes and defeat (or even a draw) reveals deep problems and bleak times ahead. Unfortunately for Steve Waugh and the rest of the Aussie fans, after the chastening experience in NZ, England are probably exactly as good as they think they are. Not much chance of surprising an over-confident team now, no matter how utterly appalling Australia have been in India.

  • lebigfella on March 29, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    SRW... a true cricketing god, one of the mentally strongest men to walk onto the field, a man who adapted as each situation needed, a giant who led by guts, desire and will... a member of the team then the leader who ground down opponents and trounced them into submission... WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!? Australia do have some talented bowlers but this rotation system Is not working (did Warne, McGrath, McDermott etc. etc. sit out every couple of tests?). You are short of a decent spinner, a decent opener, a decent number three, five and six/'keeper... quite a few decent bowlers, yes, BUT runs are as equally important as wickets. The tour of India was mesmeric in watching your cobbers being surgically picked to pieces in ALL departments. If I remember England did quite well over there. We will never ever underestimate the Old Enemy but a couple of Bruce Reid-esque quicks don't make a cricket team, that of course if they're not rested (or, ahem, injured). Love ya but jog on!!

  • on March 29, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    I think Steve Waugh is pretty much spot on, particularly in sticking with the players they already have. Great teams are built, not selected, I would bring in Rogers for the Ashes to try and cover the loss of experience after Hussey´s departure, but that´s about it. No-one else stood out at shield level this season as having the ability plus form to make a big impact.

  • Sarthak1305 on March 29, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    As an Indian I must say Australia should not at ALL use the same squad they did in India( Which i hope they wont obvsly). Waugh rightly said between Siddle Pattinson Starc Hilfenhaus and Bird they have the pace attack to get 20 english wicket. It would not at all be easy but if NZ can then Aussies can too. The problem is their batting it is totally pointless to keep a batsman who dont want to apply them selves for example: Warner watson if they can settle their top order then it will be a more even contest that England would think

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on March 29, 2013, 9:30 GMT

    Well this is a mediocre Eng side as there is 1 and got flogged all over the place by no 8 NZ. Although this Aus side is the worst in history it has arguably .... ironically!!..... best pace attack in world . SA is the only match in pace dept. though only Steyn can get a place in Aus top 4 pace attack... Eng will do well not to blown away by the Aus battery and avoid 10-0 b2b thrashing .... If they don't they seriously need to be put up with Bang and Zim .....the likes.... and they will at least compete and avoid being put to sword by better teams like NZ.....

  • Charlie101 on March 29, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    I thought the days of Aussie mind games were over but obviousely not !!! If I was an Aussie selector I would be getting my team selection correct long term and playing with a view to performing as well as I could with a transitional team in England and blooding Khaja and perhaps Bird and then winning the Ashes back down under . They need to take a view and stay with the players who they think can win the urn down under on their own turf.

    If the article was written before the NZ series he would have been correct but we have had a serious wake up call !!!

  • gnomeorram on March 29, 2013, 9:22 GMT

    And this for New Zealand's new legion of subcontinental admirers. Let's say England are now as bad as you're making them out to be. Well, this is the England team that's currently 6-1 up on India, home and away. How laughably atrocious does that make your boys? Dear oh dear oh dear.

  • skilebow on March 29, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Wouldn't it be funny if the powers that be in england decided to cater to their strengths and ask the groundsmen to produce wicked turners and play swan and monty. i wonder how Aus would react!

  • on March 29, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I agree England aren't as good as they think they are but even so we will still be far too good for the Aussies who are as poor as we think they are!

  • Lobs on March 29, 2013, 9:15 GMT

    Luke Butterworth must go to England. He is the best all rounder in Australia .His figures prove it. He has scored a century to win the Sheffield Shield for Tasmania as well as big scores when needed in other finals--notably last week. He is the most accurate bowler in the country. 2319 runs@27.28 205wkts.@23.55 economy 2.74 Compare his record with the hopelessly overrated Johnson--2416 runs@ 22.57;342 wkts.@30.57 economy 3.39. Butterworth is a team player with no psychological hang ups.

  • greatshinwari on March 29, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    england are strong as batting unit while australia are strong as bowling unit ... so it will be great series... australia should pick siddle patto harris hilfy and starc or bird in the bowling line up.. no place is there for johnson ... in batting line up... they should consider a strong contenderfor 5th and 6th position in batting line up... haddin should be pick as wicket keeper instead of mathew waste....

  • on March 29, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    pick players like george bailey , adam voges peter forest for tests. bailey played spin very well y he is not getting selected i think he is only next best to clarke

  • ozziespirit on March 29, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    Unlike some Australian fan, I remember the last Ashes down Under. I remember Anderson and co ripping us to pieces. It wasn't fun to watch. I remember the recent series in India too, which some would love to forget, where the same team India that England thrashed, then whitewashed Australia 4-0. England have been the better team for years, comparing averages is just stupid, it's the number of games played you've got to look at first, you really can tell who has played the game and who hasn't. A prolonged consistency (Anderson averages 27 in the last five years, I'd say that was consistent wouldn't you?) show a quality player. Clarke isn't as good a captain as Cook and does hide down the order, and why not: If Aus lost Clarke to the first ball of the innings they'd be beat. If England lose Cook to the 1st ball (which never happens anyway), they still have 4-5 world class batters to come. Australia can't match that. We're a level below the top 2 or 3 teams in the world.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 29, 2013, 8:51 GMT

    Given how Australia and their captain have just been humiliated by the same Indian team England thrashed recently, all those wins against Bangladesh and co last year have suddenly been shown to be a worthless indicator on the state of Australian cricket. The 'Clarke Saga' was the final straw for many Aus fans - having resisted the calls for Clarke to do what Cook does and face the first ball of every innings, Clarke finally relented, and showed the world his technique and captaincy just weren't up to that level. What an embarrassment that was. Add to that the 'Lyon saga', 'the 'Wade saga, 'Homework-Gate', and a long list of whitewashes at the hands of England and an Ashes thrashing every time they turn up (whereupon their fans traditionally stay at home), you've got yourself the Australia that everyone knows these days, the Australia that can't compete with the top five teams in the world. And it's a historic B2B double Ashes year too, oh dear..

  • inefekt on March 29, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    The Australian team that toured India has absolutely no chance of beating England in England, maybe if they were touring Australia we'd have a slim chance but over there we have none, zero, zilch. This is purely the fault of the national selection panel, they are utterly clueless in their knowledge of cricket at the domestic level, this should be the number one priority in the selection criteria when choosing a selector. It's ridiculous how little they know about state level cricket. Also, what good is bowling depth when 90% of those bowlers can't stay on the field more than two consecutive matches because they keep getting injured? It's our batting which is truly abysmal right now, only Clarke would be given a spot in any of the other top test teams' batting lineups. I say it's time to call in the experienced heads, the likes of Rogers, D Hussey, Bailey and even Cosgrove need to be seriously considered.

  • Thefakebook on March 29, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    I agree with Steve here,he is a thinker and usually is not commenting here and there regularly.Eng won 2 matches in India and think they rule the world again(SERIOUSLY?).But not long ago they got white washed by Pakistan(mind you who have dominant pace attack with the best spinner Ajmal to boast about) so I guess they share the world with Pak(LOL).Its a well known fact OZ have one of the best pace attack in the world and depth in pace attack as well with all those 19-22 year old pace men climbing up ranks.OK SA may claim they got best pace attack now but in 3-4 years OZ will take over.Coming to the Spin department Swan will be coming back from injury so it will take time to settle back to his previous best.Monty is no threat to OZ batsmen.He couldn't get a single Kiwi out in 4 or 5 session.Then there is the Batting in UN-DOCTORED pitches the same OZ side will beat same indian side any day. Hauritz,SO'K,Ahmed and Lyon should be the main spinners and play supporting roles to the quicks.

  • baskar_guha on March 29, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Australia will play surprisingly well against England. However, the key to winning the Ashes is how the respective top orders perform. Should be good fun to watch.

  • on March 29, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Hey Aussies, all you need is a bit of confidence like legendary Waugh said. Although i'm not too technical about cricket, as a layman i can clearly see Aus have a better chance at winning the Ashes. Facts time:

    1. India lose 8 matches away but had the confidence in them and won 4-0 against you. Gambhir and Sehwag were out and still they cud win as they had enough confidence. You have world class players, all you need is little more aggression and confidence.

    2. Forget Indian series because the turfs were of spinning track mostly, in England they prefer seaming tracks which is a direct advantage to guys like Pattinson, Siddle and Starc.

    3. Phil Hughes and Ed Cowan they have the temperament and perseverance so they can be real success. Dave has to play his natural game.

    4. Pick Cook, Trott and KP out and your victory is inevitable. Rest of the wickets will fall without efforts.

    5. Aussie have a great chance in winning this Ashes. My money on them.

  • Essex_Man on March 29, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    Very bizarre comments from Steve Waugh; perhaps he's been listening to Glenn McGrath who is famous for his wildly optimistic predictions - I still chuckle at his comments about a possible 5-0 prior to the 2005 Ashes series. The current Australian side is completely pitiful and they don't even deserve a 5-Test series against the mighty England. They should be put into a second division along with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Ireland where they might have more chance of competing.

  • Shaggy076 on March 29, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    Not even sure why Steve Waugh position is controversial. Australia is much more suited to English conditions than Indian (our greatest team ever struggled to win in India). I agree England are favourites due to recent history, but not sure why Aussie fans shouldnt be optimistic. The record of our paceman such as Siddle, Pattinson, Starc, Harris, Hilfenhaus is better than the English paceman. England are in transition struggling to fill half the batting positions, with Swann injured there is no spinner (and we havent had too many issues with Swann.) The performances of Watson of late has been very poor, but i dont doubt he has the technique or talent to have a massive series. Hughes first class record is excellent it could easily happen in a test series. All we need is a couple of batsman to have these break out tours and there is no doubt we can win. Thats pretty much all Waugh is saying.

  • Eightfa on March 29, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    I remember when another Australian ashes touring party was called worst team to leave Australia. 1989 saw the emergence of Steve waugh and the dominance of a swing bowler named terry alderman many similarities to this side a work horse attack no real spinner to speak of a dominant captain and a young batting line up and the most similar thing an English team so full of them selves they may just not see it coming bring on the ashes

  • whofriggincares on March 29, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Steve Waugh does not comment on the game very often. He senses weakness in the England outfit , who doesnt? England have been beaten(flogged) by Pakistan, and South Africa drawn with Sri Lanka and New Zealand (outplayed in 80% of the series) and only beaten India . Their form is atrocious, we all know that.Swan averages 40 in ashes series, we all know that, Andersons test average will leave him well short of the great tag after his retirement, we all know that. And the Aussie fast bowling depth is the strongest in the world ,we all know that. Also england have lost 9 out of the last 12 ashes series and never have long periods of dominance, we all know that. And lastly the English fans on this site reject reality and insert fantasy with embarassing regularity , we all know that. LOL

  • Bird_bird_bird on March 29, 2013, 8:11 GMT

    Hahaha @FFL, every single point is factually disputed. Ajmal and herath are far superior to swann. Clarke bats at 5, is leagues ahead of cook as a batsman and a captain. Just compare the runs scored in 2012. And, as a reflection of cook's brilliant tactics, he had 9 men on the fence AGAINST NZ. Clarke however, along with mccullum, are the most positive and the best tacticians in world cricket today. THIS, is undisputed. Also, as another reflection of cook's brilliant captaincy, do you remember that toss he decided to bowl first that resulted in NZ posting 450+? Hah.

    Magician Anderson, he couldn't register even a four for against a batting line up that got bundled out for 45, not to mention them being ranked eighth. Every single one of harris, bird, Cummings, siddle, hilfenhaus and pattinson ALL have averages far superior to Anderson, broad, tremlett, Finn and Bresnan. Remember cook's success against McGrath and Clark? Just can't wait to see bird get him out to third slip every innings

  • anuajm on March 29, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    So the mental games have begin. England are definitely a much stronger team than Australia and come the Ashes, there will be a significant change in their attitude and they should be able to raise their game a notch or two, unlike how they played against NZ( not taking away anything from NZ, they played brilliantly). The series is not going to be a whitewash. It will be a closely fought series specially in Australia. But England should win both 3-1 and 2-1 probably. Don't won't to judge by the India series but still Australia batting will be a concern.

  • Bird_bird_bird on March 29, 2013, 8:02 GMT

    With the fact that England have our worse win-loss to us since the ashes, as English fans would digest and deflect boycott's and vaughan's calls, and would obviously be appaled by this, let me deflect our better team performance since the ashes, and compare the individuals.

    Our batting is our weakness, but unfortunately for England, as we have posted 550+ and 600+ against a decisively better SA attack, just imagine how we're going to treat Anderson, broad and Finn who all average above 30? Clarke scored two double tons in only three tests, he'll rack up a lot more than your innocuous attack. It was quite funny to see England not being able to take 20 NZ wickets in three different tests. We have the world's best batsman, and the worlds best opening partnership, so there's something there, but they can't exactly flop when they're facing such a minnow attack.

    England, you got bowled out for under 200 twice against an eighth ranked team, and were worse than we were in India in pak and SL

  • Mitty2 on March 29, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    England are now on level pegging with australia on losses since the ashes, but aus are ahead with wins. The ledger reads that since the ashes, Australia has lost 7, won 12 and drawn 5, and comparably, that is obviously better than england's 11 wins, 7 draws and 7 losses. If you English want to harp on about we failing in India and you guys succeeding, I'll harp on about our away series against SL and our performance against SA. England were diabolically humiliated by SA on decks that are actually cricket standard, unlike the indian's pathetic "selectively watered" ones. 600-2 I think, on a deck that doesn't negate pace or spin, (unlike India with pace), is am accurate reflection of the standard of your bowling attack. You lost to SL, and I don't think I need to say more. And as I've stated, you got whitewashed by Pakistan, and this is that any better than our results in India? Anderson averages above 30, broad above 30, Finn 29.94. Compare them with Harris, siddle, bird, patto and hilf

  • on March 29, 2013, 7:51 GMT

    As great a captain and player as steve waugh was, maybe i think he is trying to build up the worst Australian side i have seen in my life(49 years). England are a very good side,as for shane watson having potential that is what 21 year olds have not 32 year olds prone to injuries have,i'm sorry but Phil Hughes has nothing in him to make him a long term test batsmen, still got the same failings as he has always had, Warner may get 1 good score but don't hope for much more, Clarke is a great bat but the side now rely on him totally (hope his back stands up to it) and a bowling attack that is forever breaking down. take 20 wickets regular enough to win test matches especially with totally no back up from any sort of decent spinner, i think you are hoping for a lot, as a pom in oz i can't wait, honestly don't think you will 1 of the 10 ashes tests coming up

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 29, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    Australia are a shocking team, the 6th or 7th side in the world: no one would dispute that. That they don't have a spinner, and England have the world's best:no one would dispute that. They have a terrible man-manager as captain who hides infamously down the order at 6, and England have an inspirational and courageous captain, the world's best test opener who faces the first ball of every innings: no one would dispute that. That England have th proven-magician Anderson who is the stuff of Australian Ashes nightmares everyone knows and remembers that. Australia have officially been declared as having the 'cupboard empty', something posters like myself have been saying for years: Everyone knows that. So Mr Waugh, just how is Australian cricket doing these days? LOL.

  • UndertheGrill on March 29, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    It's likely to come down to which team can keep their strongest XI fit and on the park. At the moment Australia appears to have greater strength in depth in their seam bowling, but they can barely keep the same attack fit for 2 consecutive tests, whilst England's batting line-up is much more settled (although that's no guarantee of success as their struggles in at least 2 innings on batting-friendly surfaces in NZ showed), but again there are fitness issues especially regarding KP, and if he can't bat it massively weakens their batting line-up. I expect both teams to raise their performances from their recently concluded tours, and despite their whitewash in India, it should be a pretty competitive series, but with back-to-back series the really important one will be in Australia in 9 months time!

  • Hammond7249 on March 29, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    This all seems rather silly seeing that Australia have lost 4-0 in India and England have just won there. For so long the Australians could boast of their superiority over England and now they can't so they have to start with these ridiculous mind games.

    Jayzuz-how can you say that England should have lost against New Zealand? NZ got a get-out-of-jail free card with two days rain in Wellington and England earned that draw in Auckland by batting out the days.

    It's apparently okay for Steve Waugh to hype up Australia and slag off England but not okay for Ian Botham to do the opposite? Come on.

  • Sir.Ivor on March 29, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    I am inclined to agree with Steve Waugh after seeing England perform in New Zealand recently. I am not sure if it is hubris but winning in India certainly gave them a lustre that the never had. If Australia's pace attack is fit and remains so. they are going to give England a tough time. I also believe that even their current batsmen will be able to deliver. So the Ashes will be well fought this time whatever anyone might think.

  • HatsforBats on March 29, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    People making comments like Botham are partly correct: the side selected for India was one of the poorest Australian sides I've seen. I know Beefy likes to make loud statements but it's amazing that other people can't objective about the reality of the situation. That was a team picked specifically for India. Period. Doherty, Maxwell, & Henriques were picked specifically for that tour and they will not be picked for the Ashes home or away. Wade won't bat at 6 either. Australia have stronger pace depth but England have stronger batting with Cook, Trott, KP & Prior (though Compton, Bell, & Root are weak(er) points in the lineup). I think both series wil be very competitive.

  • venkatesh018 on March 29, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    I am not sure I agree with Steve Waugh's opinion that the current Aussie top order can deliver the goods in England, especially Warner. But I concur 100% that England aren't a great side themselves, depending too much on two batsmen, Cook and KP for their Test runs. With Swann returning from injury, their famed bowling depth is not what it used to be. Onions is out of form, Bresnan injured and Chris Woakes untested. Waugh definitely has a point. Australia have an outside chance of a win though England will start favorites at least on paper.

  • abhyudayj on March 29, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    England were not dominant in tests against newzealand and they were lucky to escape series defeat on seam condition . Australia has a very good chance of winning the ashes as the pitches will suit for seam bowling as england struggles in pace conditions

  • raj877 on March 29, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    australia beter than england in these conditions ( eng, aus, sa), look at past result in SA,, aus managed 0-1 lose in 3 match,,,,,,england 0-2 almost white washed but final test on day 4 & 5 rain helped eng to avoid another white wash after pak serious

  • Barnbarroch on March 29, 2013, 7:01 GMT

    Phil Hughes! Surely not, I can't see him successful against the swinging and seaming ball in England.

    And why doesn't Watson open, where he's been successful?

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    To win Australia must back their most reliable bowlers. This means sidelining Johnson and Starc as much as possibe in favour of Harris, Pattinson, Siddle and Bird. Australia have to be absolutely ruthless in their bowling as given any leeway; the English batsmen will tear us apart. I would try and rotate Bird and Harris so to guard against injury as much as possible to Harris. Harris although being injured more than not needs to be played for every match possible to get the most out of him that we can. So our bowing lineup first up should be Pattinson, Harris, Siddle and Lyon as first preference but alternating bird for Harris /Harris for Bird for each subsequent test. This quartet's pressure and accuracy can almost be banked upon and would give me the most confidence. Only with an injury should the Johnson or Starc be considered!

  • Jayzuz on March 29, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    Based on recent results, @chriswr? You mean the recent results you want to look at. For AUS played SA at home just a few months ago and AUS did a hell of a lot better there than ENG vs SA. I do believe the conditions will be far closer to those two series than the micro-doctored dust bowls the Indians coughed up.

  • goldeneraaus on March 29, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Hard to be optimistic about the Australian team but I agree 100% that England think they are much better than the reality. They just drew a series against the 8th ranked side, and worse it was a series they should have lost. Ignoring their India win( exceptional as it was) they lost badly to SA and UAE.. so why does their media and past players continue to hype them up? Botham and Vaughan are unashamedly bias and their comments can't be taken seriously, if Aussies can scrape together enough runs I'd back their seamers to wreak havoc.

  • jmcilhinney on March 29, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    I think that a lot of people mistake what commentators and media say for what the team thinks. It doesn't really matter what Ian Botham or Michael Vaughan say. Does what Shane Warne says accurately reflect what the Australian team and management think? I doubt it, so don't assume that the England team are over-confident just because a few pundits talk big. The likelihood of a whitewash either way in either Ashes series is low. Australia is a long way from being the great team they were in the past and England are not playing as well as the same players were just a couple of years ago. Both teams need to lift but if England and Australia teams can't lift for an Ashes series then they never will. I see Australia's main issue being consistent batting, especially in England, and England's as being consistent bowling, especially if they suffer an injury or two.

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    I agree with Steve Waugh that England aren`t as strong as they look,but they can still be enough for the aussies especially in home conditions.Because of their strong batting lineup with depth in both batting & bowling, aussies will find it hard.Also australia`s batting is not experienced so it will tough for them.But u never know despite 4-0 drubbing against India.

  • raj877 on March 29, 2013, 6:39 GMT

    dont compare india vs aus 2 eng vs aus because venews are different ,in ashes aus playing almost there home condition, not much difrence in aus or eng venews, aus have better than eng in bowling department ,u cant judge any serious, no team as strong enough in test level at present ,,,,expect from south africa, ( look at comparision test rank 3 vs 4 , rank no 4 dominated ,,,,, then rank 2 vs 8 ,rank no 8 dominated,, dont look at result is it win, draw, lose,,,,, so dont over joy dont underestimet any team)

  • amitgarg78 on March 29, 2013, 6:38 GMT

    Sorry Steve, I know it must hurt after 2 decades of dominance, but the real truth is that current bunch are not up to it. sure they can lip it, but just can't walk the talk. The only thing that made sense here is that Australia do have some bowlers that can take wickets. in Australia / England, cummins, starc and pattinson could be quite handy. I dont think Siddle would scare anyone though. He's a workhorse and will bowl for long spells, but didnt impress much otherwise. It's the batsmen where the whole issue is. Man for man, England outrank every one of them except Clarke. Phil Hughes shouldnt be near a test squad of any country with his technique. Warner will always be hit/miss. There is not a single player capable of lasting 30-35 overs except clarke. If England land with any decent bowling form behind them - they are struggling at the moment - this is going to be a one way traffic. Even if it's not a whitewash, i dont see aussies coming out on top.

  • TommytuckerSaffa on March 29, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Yes Steve, England might not be that good but the problem is that Australia are far worse. Lets be honest, England have a rock solid, experienced and more skillful top 6 batting lineup while oz are still trying to work out who is good enough to bat and in which position. Bowling. You have to say thst Anderson is better suited to England's conditions and therefore the pick of the quicks and Swann is miles better than Lyon. No brainer on the end result.

  • venbas on March 29, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Yawnnnnn....Dear Waugh its not the 1990's or the noughties for chris sake ...times when the great Aussie juggernaut have to just turn up at the stadium for the opposition to start waving white flags are long gone. At the best Aussies can hope not to be blanked out completely and maybe win the odd match or two.

  • wnwn on March 29, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Yes, Australia's fast bowlers are good, but not good enough to deliver the Ashes without significant help from the batsmen. I think Pattinson, Starc and Cummins are key for Australia if they can get them fit and in form. I don't think Siddle will cause too many problems as he doesn't have the pace or seam movement

  • HowdyRowdy on March 29, 2013, 6:22 GMT

    As @Chris Howard said, England's likely batting line up averages well above Australia's so, assuming that the two sides are roughly equivalent with the ball, England have a significant advantage with the bat.

    Also, England will be paying in their home conditions, which should give them an edge.

    If the ball does move around in typical English conditions, the. Aussie bats (Clarke and Cowan aside) are likely to be found out as they go hard at the ball without adequate footwork or technique.

    Australia could grab a win, as their seamers will be a handful, but England should take the series pretty comfortably.

  • on March 29, 2013, 6:20 GMT

    England's weakness is that they believe they have the worlds 2nd best bowling side since they're, statistically, the 2nd best team. I think with the strength of fast bowling stocks England look quite unimpressive at the moment, frankly and they definitely didn't worry New Zealand much with their A-side. Meanwhile, the Lions didn't win a single match of their tour. And I keep hearing about England's incredible depth?

  • chriswr on March 29, 2013, 6:10 GMT

    Based on recent results for both teams in India, Steve Waugh is being very optimistic indeed. Admittedly England was unable to beat New Zealand, but New Zealand has improved dramatically recently and they are a much better team than most realise. In India, Australia was a mess and I don't think they will have the time to clean that mess up before the Ashes begins.

    It is natural for Steve Waugh to wave the flag for Australia, but it is a hopeful wave, reminiscent of someone needing the attention of a lifeguard.

  • ygkd on March 29, 2013, 6:08 GMT

    England have, no doubt, been over-rated. However, their wake-up call in NZ is, I think, far more likely to be heeded correctly than Australia's in India. Both, ultimately have similar problems. Neither are producing good batting as regularly as they need to. Root, Bairstow and Taylor have a deal of work to do on their techniques, just as Hughes, Smith and Warner do, before they're reborn as quality Test batsmen. However, the ECB seems to have the RSA production-line to ease its labour-pains. That is not to criticise players crossing borders to pursue their careers, one cannot blame them at all. It is simply to say that if sort of thing is not to happen Down Under (and we're already talking about immigration as an answer to our spin problem so it is not entirely impossible) then something must be done to rectify our own production-line. And in that sense, whether or not we're better than England is irrelevant. What we need to worry about is whether or not we're as good as we should be.

  • Naren21 on March 29, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    I suggest that the Aussies persist with most of the players who came to India , and not make more than three changes.To begin with, the 11 players would be Warner, Cowan, Hughes, Watson, Clarke,Wade, Henriques, Siddle, Starc, Pattinson and Lyon. Two additional batsmen would be Smith and Khawaja, Fast bowlers - two from Johnson, Helfenius, Bird, Cummins and Hazlewood, one spinner from Doherty, Krezja and another wk may be Paine / Haddin.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    I think On_The_Boundary has succinctly nailed it. At home though (and I lived in the UK the last ten years) England have changed the fans mindset that they actually expect them to win rather than hope they do! I'm encouraged by what looks a great crop of fast bowlers. Steve Waugh is more positive than I am about the batting - apart from Clarke, I don't see any quality in the top 6. Warner will plant his feet and play at wide swinging deliveries, Hughes is not a test player. Watson should be going big he obviously has loads of talent. I always want these guys to do well but..... They don't and it's about performance not potential. Arthur and Clarke made a huge blunder dropping those players and are trying to instill a culture that will never produce our best cricket - EVER.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:53 GMT

    Maybe England aren't as good as they think they areMr.Waugh but Australia are mist certainly as bad as we know they are.

  • alwaysindia on March 29, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    waugh is absolutely correct. cummins,starc, pattinson, siddle are much better than conditional james anderson, trundler broad and overrated finn. also i think in absence of one south african kp, they do not have new south africans to chose from and we all know what happens when england plays with english players. they also did succeed in india because of one southafrican and one indian. eng just have one quality english player cook

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    Nothing wrong with Aussie's bowling as they are going to play four fast bowlers who are capable of bowling England out twice. The only problematic area is their batting, which they need to work on.

  • simonsays on March 29, 2013, 5:41 GMT

    Steve's comments are understandable, but so are the comments of the pessimists. Its an unescapable fact that Australia utterly capitulated against India. It provides little solace that these were turning pitches, and relatively alien to Australian batsmen/unbecoming of Australian bowlers, as the great teams are comfortable on all surfaces. But this is not the argument. No one (sane) argues this isn't a poorer Australian side than the great teams of the past, however against pace/swing our batsmen have improved from the depths of our 47 all out, to a unit displaying some talent against a fast/swinging ball.

    England's stock trade is pace/swing, so our batsmen will be more relaxed. Warner, Watson, and Hughes in particular, are much more comfortable against this bowling. Swann will be less incisive on English pitches than the Indians were on theirs, so you'd say we'll fare much better. Our bowling stocks are strong - Pattinson, Cummins, Siddle, Starc, Nile, Henriques so I give us chance.

  • Chris_Howard on March 29, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    I dunno, just look at each team's batting and bowling averages. We might be able to match them on bowling, but we've got a ways to go before matching their batting. Nothing is impossible, but guys are going to have to start batting well above their averages. And the Poms will have to bat below theirs.

    The England top 8 from the second Test in NZ averages are: 49 (Cooke), 40 (Compton), 50 (Trott), 49 (Pietersen), 46 (Bell), 30 (Root), 45 (Prior), 25 (Broad). Overall: 41.75

    The Australian best top 8 from the Tests in India (and most likely starting lineup): 33 (Cowan), 39 (Warner) , 52 (Clarke), 33 (Hughes), 32 (Smith), 35 (Watson), 35 (Wade), 16 (Siddle). Overall: 34.375

    Some big gaps there. What's more, England has a settled lineup aside from position 6. Australia has only one position, Clarke's, that is settled.

    Plus we're playing it there, and they've got two spinners to choose from who would get picked in any other side.

    Maybe when they come here we'll have a chance.

  • Chris_P on March 29, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @landl47, Good post, although England appear to be selecting form players rather than holding onto the "promise of delivery". I have no doubt we will be competitive with our bowling (as long as MJ isn't selected) but the batting still worries me. If you can recall, unfortunately, everything I feared would occur in India did. If persistence is still with Watson, Maxwell & Wade, then we will be well & truly on the back foot. Clarke aside, the batting isn't strong, so we must select current form players. We cannot carry out of form players with this line-up. Wade's glovework was atrocious, definitely the worst I have witnessed in first class cricket for over 30 years, We should end this folly of selecting the best batsman as our keeper. Over there, little to no chance, but down here, we will give a much better account than last time.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    England will still win. Australia is far from improving. Both batting and bowling is poor. The days of on top has gone. One must accept it

  • wpAus on March 29, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Steve Waugh - what a great Australian. Come on the Aussies!! Dig in, fight hard, play well!

  • satishchandar on March 29, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Perfect Steve.. "13 Test matches before I played in a winning Test side; 26 Tests before I scored a century" Legends are Always born but the real thing is, when they show themselves as legends.. these days, the fans are not that patient.. probably, they do find a large pool of players who succeed at different levels and doesn't have patience to look upon one player for prolonged time on failure.. If the management seriously believes a guy is a better player, they need to persist with him and give him some chances to fail atleast.. May be not to the levels of Rohit in ODI but RJ in tests did prove his worth..

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    Perhaps Steve Waugh is not as rash as the statement sounds. Australlia had a disastrous Indian tour . But snaring the Indian lion at home has never been easy as Taylor, Waugh and Ponting will tell you . Ponting who took the english bowlers to the cleaners for years on end , could hardly put bat to ball and there records would have been worse but for exceptions like Hayden. English conditions are a lot easier than Indian ones to aussie batsmen. But significantly the fast bowling which was completely nullified will not be so neutered in england. If anythng Pattinson, Staarc, Siddle, Harris and Bird whoever is fit will give England a run for their money. England secure in the knowledge of their own performance have failed to understand the over dependence on Cook and Trott over the years as Pietersen only does the occasional blinder and when these two failed in New Zealand they struggled and how. All is not lost, it is never as bad as you fear or as great as beefy thinks it will be !

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    For that Aussie media and player should forget the past one and half month of India tour. No doubt Australia have that much ability to bring back the Ashes. believe in your player that is good bunch of Sr and young player. I am looking forward to see heart felt performance of Siddle and gusty batting of Phil and man of the Series performance of Bigman Shane watson.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    I suspect it will be a low scoring series. Nonetheless England have more batsmen capable of outlasting the Australian ones. Given the dubious fitness record of the Australian fast bowlers I suggest that being ground down by slow, but steady scorers, like Cook, Compton, Root, Trott may have a serious impact on them. Expect, perhaps, injuries if England get Australia in the field for a prolonged period.

    I don't think this series will be the double Whitewash people are predicting, but I would honestly be surprised if England did not win the home leg for sure and the away leg probably.

  • On_The_Boundary on March 29, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Waugh is correct - England aren't as good as they think.

    But he is also wrong, Australia aren't as good as he thinks.

    Admittedly, India is always a tough tour - but the results & performances are there for all to see. The top order batsman failed, as did the senior bowlers.

  • landl47 on March 29, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    It's good to see Steve Waugh backing the Australian side, that's how a former test captain should be talking. I don't think England, after a series in which they failed to take 20 New Zealand wickets in any game and hung on by the skin of their teeth to get a draw in the last test, think they are all that good. Waugh's just trying to build up the confidence of the Aussie players.

    I'm sure the Australian side will give a much better account of itself in England. It's a side which is built around playing seam as a batting side (4 opening batsmen) and using seam to win games in the field. That was always going to be a tough task in India, but in England they'll find the conditions much more to their liking.

    I'm expecting a very competitive and entertaining Ashes series, both in England and Australia.

  • landl47 on March 29, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    It's good to see Steve Waugh backing the Australian side, that's how a former test captain should be talking. I don't think England, after a series in which they failed to take 20 New Zealand wickets in any game and hung on by the skin of their teeth to get a draw in the last test, think they are all that good. Waugh's just trying to build up the confidence of the Aussie players.

    I'm sure the Australian side will give a much better account of itself in England. It's a side which is built around playing seam as a batting side (4 opening batsmen) and using seam to win games in the field. That was always going to be a tough task in India, but in England they'll find the conditions much more to their liking.

    I'm expecting a very competitive and entertaining Ashes series, both in England and Australia.

  • On_The_Boundary on March 29, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    Waugh is correct - England aren't as good as they think.

    But he is also wrong, Australia aren't as good as he thinks.

    Admittedly, India is always a tough tour - but the results & performances are there for all to see. The top order batsman failed, as did the senior bowlers.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    I suspect it will be a low scoring series. Nonetheless England have more batsmen capable of outlasting the Australian ones. Given the dubious fitness record of the Australian fast bowlers I suggest that being ground down by slow, but steady scorers, like Cook, Compton, Root, Trott may have a serious impact on them. Expect, perhaps, injuries if England get Australia in the field for a prolonged period.

    I don't think this series will be the double Whitewash people are predicting, but I would honestly be surprised if England did not win the home leg for sure and the away leg probably.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    For that Aussie media and player should forget the past one and half month of India tour. No doubt Australia have that much ability to bring back the Ashes. believe in your player that is good bunch of Sr and young player. I am looking forward to see heart felt performance of Siddle and gusty batting of Phil and man of the Series performance of Bigman Shane watson.

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:21 GMT

    Perhaps Steve Waugh is not as rash as the statement sounds. Australlia had a disastrous Indian tour . But snaring the Indian lion at home has never been easy as Taylor, Waugh and Ponting will tell you . Ponting who took the english bowlers to the cleaners for years on end , could hardly put bat to ball and there records would have been worse but for exceptions like Hayden. English conditions are a lot easier than Indian ones to aussie batsmen. But significantly the fast bowling which was completely nullified will not be so neutered in england. If anythng Pattinson, Staarc, Siddle, Harris and Bird whoever is fit will give England a run for their money. England secure in the knowledge of their own performance have failed to understand the over dependence on Cook and Trott over the years as Pietersen only does the occasional blinder and when these two failed in New Zealand they struggled and how. All is not lost, it is never as bad as you fear or as great as beefy thinks it will be !

  • satishchandar on March 29, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Perfect Steve.. "13 Test matches before I played in a winning Test side; 26 Tests before I scored a century" Legends are Always born but the real thing is, when they show themselves as legends.. these days, the fans are not that patient.. probably, they do find a large pool of players who succeed at different levels and doesn't have patience to look upon one player for prolonged time on failure.. If the management seriously believes a guy is a better player, they need to persist with him and give him some chances to fail atleast.. May be not to the levels of Rohit in ODI but RJ in tests did prove his worth..

  • wpAus on March 29, 2013, 5:27 GMT

    Steve Waugh - what a great Australian. Come on the Aussies!! Dig in, fight hard, play well!

  • on March 29, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    England will still win. Australia is far from improving. Both batting and bowling is poor. The days of on top has gone. One must accept it

  • Chris_P on March 29, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @landl47, Good post, although England appear to be selecting form players rather than holding onto the "promise of delivery". I have no doubt we will be competitive with our bowling (as long as MJ isn't selected) but the batting still worries me. If you can recall, unfortunately, everything I feared would occur in India did. If persistence is still with Watson, Maxwell & Wade, then we will be well & truly on the back foot. Clarke aside, the batting isn't strong, so we must select current form players. We cannot carry out of form players with this line-up. Wade's glovework was atrocious, definitely the worst I have witnessed in first class cricket for over 30 years, We should end this folly of selecting the best batsman as our keeper. Over there, little to no chance, but down here, we will give a much better account than last time.

  • Chris_Howard on March 29, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    I dunno, just look at each team's batting and bowling averages. We might be able to match them on bowling, but we've got a ways to go before matching their batting. Nothing is impossible, but guys are going to have to start batting well above their averages. And the Poms will have to bat below theirs.

    The England top 8 from the second Test in NZ averages are: 49 (Cooke), 40 (Compton), 50 (Trott), 49 (Pietersen), 46 (Bell), 30 (Root), 45 (Prior), 25 (Broad). Overall: 41.75

    The Australian best top 8 from the Tests in India (and most likely starting lineup): 33 (Cowan), 39 (Warner) , 52 (Clarke), 33 (Hughes), 32 (Smith), 35 (Watson), 35 (Wade), 16 (Siddle). Overall: 34.375

    Some big gaps there. What's more, England has a settled lineup aside from position 6. Australia has only one position, Clarke's, that is settled.

    Plus we're playing it there, and they've got two spinners to choose from who would get picked in any other side.

    Maybe when they come here we'll have a chance.