'Bombard Flintoff with short stuff' - Waugh
Steve Waugh wants Australia to say nothing to Kevin Pietersen during the Ashes and has advised Ricky Ponting's side to "prey on Andrew Flintoff's ego". Waugh has produced a dossier on England's players for the series starting next Thursday and said it was essential for Australia to target the captain Flintoff.
"The Aussies will endeavour to erode his impact by attacking him in the belief his outcome will mirror those of his team," Waugh said in the Herald Sun. "Bombard him with short stuff and prey on his ego wanting to dominate and assume the high ground.
"Then, if he gets in, stop his boundary hitting by starving him of the strike and having in-out field placements." Waugh said a good way to pressure Flintoff was to put men in close for the spinners. "The captaincy can cause the mind to wander if you can't compartmentalise your thoughts completely."
Shane Warne has rubbished claims Australia were too friendly with England during the 2005 series, but Waugh wants the teams to stop being chummy on the field. "Pietersen may find the extra bounce of Warne on Australian pitches a more challenging task when hitting across the line to the legside," he said. "Block off his boundaries with an in-out field setting - and stop Warney exchanging pleasantries on the field."
Pietersen was a crucial figure during the last series and wrote in his autobiography it was a bonus that he was mates with Warne. "It relaxed me out there and helped me to be positive against him," Pietersen wrote. "I winked at Shane when I hit him for six, but he just patted me on the bum and said, 'Well batted'. Then he got me out next ball. You are always learning."