Australia in England 2012 June 20, 2012

Watson wants to be Ashes avenger

53

Rather than train, Michael Clarke's Australian tourists watched The Avengers in Leicester on Wednesday. It is a film title Clarke might also like to be applied to his team, as resolve builds in Australian cricket to rid itself of the scars inflicted by England in recent Ashes series.

Before curtain-up, the vice-captain Shane Watson candidly admitted that Australian cricketers visiting the British Isles must now contend with the sorts of unhelpful memories that bedevilled the minds of their England counterparts in the 1990s and early 2000s. Back then, a succession of teams appeared beaten down by history well before they had a chance to engage their opponents.

Frank as ever, Watson said the team will have to overturn negative thoughts emanating from Ashes defeats in 2009 and 2010-11, and that it would continue to battle them until they regain the urn, the Test team's clear goal for 2013.

This year's ODI tour will help to provide experience of English bowlers, batsmen and climes for many tourists who have not encountered them before, but Watson said the 2012 reconnaissance would be only of superficial value in ridding himself and others of the wounds incurred in past losses.

"Until you can get into the Ashes and perform the way we need to perform those memories are going to be in the back of your mind," Watson said. "Everything we are doing is to try to improve every single time we train and play. Hopefully that will continue our development and improvement leading into the Ashes and we will have some happier memories than the previous couple of series.

"But there is no doubt we have to improve in a big way from the past Ashes series. We are working hard on the areas that we were deficient at. That is why this next year is about continuing our development in the areas that were just not good enough against the Poms hin the past couple of series here and in the series in Australia as well."

Australia failed in many areas in the past two Ashes series, but Watson pointed to numerous horrendous sessions with the bat as the most damaging passages in surrendering the initiative to Andrew Strauss' England team. There was the loss of eight wickets in a session at the Oval when a drawn match would have retained the urn, an early loss of three wickets for two runs at Adelaide Oval in the second Test of 2010-11, and the crowning humiliation of being bowled out for 98 on Boxing Day.

"One of our biggest weaknesses was our batting collapses. That is something that we are trying to continue to work on," Watson said. "Like most batting teams if someone is bowling at good pace and swinging the ball consistently it provides a really big challenge - we have to get better to get through those periods.

"In the past, over the last couple of series here especially we haven't been able to get through those periods limiting the damage. We have been losing four and five wickets through that period. What we are working on at the moment is to continue to challenge ourselves against the swinging ball. You need to back your game and your natural instincts but shape your game and shape your technique to combat what was thrown about."

Much as Allan Border's side overcame similarly unhappy memories to win the Ashes in 1989, so Clarke's team will endeavour to learn from past mistakes. In Watson's case there has already been evidence of this, in how his bowling has developed over successive England trips to become decidedly crafty and dangerous where once it was youthfully naïve.

"My first few tours I didn't enjoy it because I didn't know how to get the best out of myself as a bowler and that's about your development as a cricketer really - adapting to the conditions that are presented," Watson said.

"There's no doubt the Duke ball can really help your swing bowling out here. That's when I finally discovered the better way to bowl here rather than trying to bowl 100 miles an hour, gun-barrel straight.

"I really enjoy that over here, but on the flipside that's a challenge as a batsman, know bowlers do have the best success here by swinging the ball."

Australia's opening match of the tour takes place against Leicestershire at Grace Road on Thursday, with the likes of Pat Cummins, James Pattinson, Peter Forrest, George Bailey, Steve Smith and the recalled Mitchell Johnson all looking for a chance to secure a spot in the ODI matches that follow.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • 5wombats on June 23, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    That someone like Watson got "player of the year" shows just how weak Australia had become. We want to see Aus rise above talking about players like him, let alone actually selecting them.

  • on June 23, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    sir watson.....wat a player...how can ppl compare him with flintoff....bst allrounder i hav ever seen......wat a bowler n batsman.....

  • hyclass on June 23, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @RandyOz...feel free to research any information you think will undermine my case.I'm always ready to be elucidated.Fact is excellent in repealing those who appear to have an agenda & removes emotive discourse.Watson has been a member of the side since Ashes '09.During that time,Australia has plumbed the depths of the world rankings.So much so,that the historical losses of the last Ashes resulted in the Argus Review & the most tumultuous upheaval in Australian cricket history.How much further do you believe it was possible for Australia to fall?During that time,Watson made 2 centuries in 35 Tests and 64 innings.Both required multiple dropped catches.His strike rate is 50-barely above Katich. He has taken 59 wickets at the rate of 1.68 a Test.He has been regularly injured,unable to bowl & lacks stamina as a batsman.This is not a comment on his character or technique-only a revelation of the facts as they are known.I consider him a quality player whose physiology suggests ODI,not Tests.

  • mixters on June 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Everyone seems to knock Watson but I am sure the english will tell you all about the great Freddie Flintoff. Just compared the stats on yhese two players guess who has the better batting and bowling averages? The hero of english cricket or the poor injury prone Aussie Watson has a considerably better Ave with both bat and ball. Its a Shamehe is so injury prone for Australia but good for the rest of the world I think.

  • Beertjie on June 22, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I especially try to avoid getting people's dander up (especially those who think their opinions are somehow not mere opinions), but I'm glad to support @RandyOZ on (June 22 2012, 06:13 AM GMT) when he writes about @hyclass: "your opinions are based on who are your favourites". I recall he maintained that Hughes needed to be given more opportunities than the 'too few' he had been given, etc. Now he's knocking Watto quoting selective use of stats. When Watto went to England in 2009 he was a left-field choice as reserve opener, but he performed well and was retained. If the team needs Watto's steadiness (after all he's VC), why would you want to omit him based on questionably constituted "relevant" (lol) facts? I agree with @Benny1725 that Watto "should bat no6 in tests" - it is quite irrelevant where he himself would like to bat or at what position he has been successful in the past. It's all about his contribution to the current team and moving forward, so between Punter and him he wins

  • JG2704 on June 22, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Not naming names but why do we need to have so many trash comms about what Aus will do to Eng or what Eng are going to do to Australia ? Truth of the matter is that alot can change from either side between now and the next Ashes series and from an Australian point of view , they drew in SA and beat SL in SL (which trumps Engs effort) and Eng had that 3-0 WW in Pak. from Eng's point of view we are still number 1 and very much stronger at home than overseas (esp in SC conditions) and then there was the last Ashes series.Truth is right now , that there is little to chose between Eng,SA and Aus.

  • RandyOZ on June 22, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    @Hyclass - you are having a laugh right? He averages 28 with the ball!! Cnosidering the continual selection of spray guns he is absolutely essential as the fifth bowler and i'll take a bowler with an average of 28 anyday. His batting average is slightly lower now but he continually gets to 50 unlike Cowan and Ponting. You like to think your opinions are based on fact but if you dig under the surface most are based on who are your favourites. We would be well down the rankings if it wasn't for Watto.

  • hyclass on June 22, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    @jb633...I re-iterate,he has 59 wickets in 35 Tests. Those are not the numbers of an all rounder.He is occasionally able to bowl more overs, but always with the risk that he will be injured,which has often proved to be the case. What professional captain should go into a game knowing,that though his all rounder is technically sound, he cannot count on him batting or bowling for long periods without the spectre of injury or fatigue? His batting average has continued to slide, having ascended as high as 40.I don't question Watson's character or commitment but more than 3 years of speculating has solved nothing.He simply lacks the body to influence matches at Test level.Let him be a ODI player. The team should be populated with fit players capable of influencing matches.They should have unimpeachable long term records coupled with solid recent form. Theories about age,technique,class,batting combinations,bowling types and future contest planning should play no part.Only the best eleven.

  • Potatis on June 21, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @steve19191 - Australia haven't lost a test for many games now, and haven't lost a test series for even longer, whereas England lost a series against Pakistan recently. How has the Australian performance been embarrassing then? You are right about the 3 games though. After Australia win 3-0 we'll all be pleased that we don't waste time on another 2 games.

  • steve19191 on June 21, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Quite frankly I don´t know why the ashes gets as much billing as it does. Australia are in no way a match for the English lads, it is embarrasing to watch and I for one hope that future tours are restricted to 3 test matches until Australia are of a good enough standard to challenge.

  • 5wombats on June 23, 2012, 19:24 GMT

    That someone like Watson got "player of the year" shows just how weak Australia had become. We want to see Aus rise above talking about players like him, let alone actually selecting them.

  • on June 23, 2012, 19:03 GMT

    sir watson.....wat a player...how can ppl compare him with flintoff....bst allrounder i hav ever seen......wat a bowler n batsman.....

  • hyclass on June 23, 2012, 11:28 GMT

    @RandyOz...feel free to research any information you think will undermine my case.I'm always ready to be elucidated.Fact is excellent in repealing those who appear to have an agenda & removes emotive discourse.Watson has been a member of the side since Ashes '09.During that time,Australia has plumbed the depths of the world rankings.So much so,that the historical losses of the last Ashes resulted in the Argus Review & the most tumultuous upheaval in Australian cricket history.How much further do you believe it was possible for Australia to fall?During that time,Watson made 2 centuries in 35 Tests and 64 innings.Both required multiple dropped catches.His strike rate is 50-barely above Katich. He has taken 59 wickets at the rate of 1.68 a Test.He has been regularly injured,unable to bowl & lacks stamina as a batsman.This is not a comment on his character or technique-only a revelation of the facts as they are known.I consider him a quality player whose physiology suggests ODI,not Tests.

  • mixters on June 23, 2012, 8:29 GMT

    Everyone seems to knock Watson but I am sure the english will tell you all about the great Freddie Flintoff. Just compared the stats on yhese two players guess who has the better batting and bowling averages? The hero of english cricket or the poor injury prone Aussie Watson has a considerably better Ave with both bat and ball. Its a Shamehe is so injury prone for Australia but good for the rest of the world I think.

  • Beertjie on June 22, 2012, 10:55 GMT

    I especially try to avoid getting people's dander up (especially those who think their opinions are somehow not mere opinions), but I'm glad to support @RandyOZ on (June 22 2012, 06:13 AM GMT) when he writes about @hyclass: "your opinions are based on who are your favourites". I recall he maintained that Hughes needed to be given more opportunities than the 'too few' he had been given, etc. Now he's knocking Watto quoting selective use of stats. When Watto went to England in 2009 he was a left-field choice as reserve opener, but he performed well and was retained. If the team needs Watto's steadiness (after all he's VC), why would you want to omit him based on questionably constituted "relevant" (lol) facts? I agree with @Benny1725 that Watto "should bat no6 in tests" - it is quite irrelevant where he himself would like to bat or at what position he has been successful in the past. It's all about his contribution to the current team and moving forward, so between Punter and him he wins

  • JG2704 on June 22, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    Not naming names but why do we need to have so many trash comms about what Aus will do to Eng or what Eng are going to do to Australia ? Truth of the matter is that alot can change from either side between now and the next Ashes series and from an Australian point of view , they drew in SA and beat SL in SL (which trumps Engs effort) and Eng had that 3-0 WW in Pak. from Eng's point of view we are still number 1 and very much stronger at home than overseas (esp in SC conditions) and then there was the last Ashes series.Truth is right now , that there is little to chose between Eng,SA and Aus.

  • RandyOZ on June 22, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    @Hyclass - you are having a laugh right? He averages 28 with the ball!! Cnosidering the continual selection of spray guns he is absolutely essential as the fifth bowler and i'll take a bowler with an average of 28 anyday. His batting average is slightly lower now but he continually gets to 50 unlike Cowan and Ponting. You like to think your opinions are based on fact but if you dig under the surface most are based on who are your favourites. We would be well down the rankings if it wasn't for Watto.

  • hyclass on June 22, 2012, 0:55 GMT

    @jb633...I re-iterate,he has 59 wickets in 35 Tests. Those are not the numbers of an all rounder.He is occasionally able to bowl more overs, but always with the risk that he will be injured,which has often proved to be the case. What professional captain should go into a game knowing,that though his all rounder is technically sound, he cannot count on him batting or bowling for long periods without the spectre of injury or fatigue? His batting average has continued to slide, having ascended as high as 40.I don't question Watson's character or commitment but more than 3 years of speculating has solved nothing.He simply lacks the body to influence matches at Test level.Let him be a ODI player. The team should be populated with fit players capable of influencing matches.They should have unimpeachable long term records coupled with solid recent form. Theories about age,technique,class,batting combinations,bowling types and future contest planning should play no part.Only the best eleven.

  • Potatis on June 21, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    @steve19191 - Australia haven't lost a test for many games now, and haven't lost a test series for even longer, whereas England lost a series against Pakistan recently. How has the Australian performance been embarrassing then? You are right about the 3 games though. After Australia win 3-0 we'll all be pleased that we don't waste time on another 2 games.

  • steve19191 on June 21, 2012, 18:06 GMT

    Quite frankly I don´t know why the ashes gets as much billing as it does. Australia are in no way a match for the English lads, it is embarrasing to watch and I for one hope that future tours are restricted to 3 test matches until Australia are of a good enough standard to challenge.

  • JG2704 on June 21, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    @Leed1975 on (June 21 2012, 06:27 AM GMT) re "and no English player has lost a home Ashes test" - wasn't the last home series 2-1 to England? I'm guessing that Strauss,Cook,KP,Bell,Prior,Broad,Swann and Anderson (of the likely starters) would all have played in that losing test.

  • JG2704 on June 21, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster on (June 21 2012, 05:04 AM GMT) For someone who only a few weeks ago said you cared ONLY for IPL and NOT EVEN international T20s - you spend an post an awful lot on Eng/Aus threads.

  • JG2704 on June 21, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    @rahulcricket007 on (June 21 2012, 04:08 AM GMT) Do you ever write anything complimentary about English or Australian cricket. Surely both sides must have something about them to top the rankings (between them) across all 3 formats

  • JG2704 on June 21, 2012, 16:04 GMT

    @Micgyver on (June 20 2012, 23:53 PM GMT) sorry my comm starting with the bit about the English weather was meant for you. Think I may have put @Mayan Viljoen on (June 20 2012, 21:46 PM GMT)

  • JG2704 on June 21, 2012, 16:02 GMT

    @Mayan Viljoen on (June 20 2012, 21:46 PM GMT) The English (bad) weather has already been lasting for what feels like decades. Seriously though , I expect a very tight series and while I think Aus have not improved peronnel wise since the last Ashes series I'd say their batting is showing more grit and guys like Siddle and Hilf are showing more with the ball

  • Trapper439 on June 21, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    The downturn in Australian batting stocks really is quite bizarre. We're just not producing good bats at the moment. Ten years ago there were some truly great batsmen in Shield cricket who couldn't buy a place in the Test team. Nowadays we've got good Shield players like Khawaja who come into the Test team and fail. On the other hand we've probably got the best young crop of fast bowlers I've seen in almost thirty years of watching cricket... It really is rather strange to see the current talent discrepancy between bat and ball in Australia... PS If none of the younger batsmen step up between now and the Ashes, I'd love to see Dave Husseyfinally called up, even if it's for just that one series.

  • jb633 on June 21, 2012, 14:51 GMT

    @hyclass, I used to think Watson was average, but within the last three years he has come on leaps and bopunds. I disagree on the bowling front, he can be used as a decent stock bowler and has the ability to take wickets (eg SA series). I also think that whilst he does not frequently get big scores, he can give the middle order a decent platform. I completelye agree on David Hussey, he is a must for Oz in all formats.

  • Benny1725 on June 21, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    I don't think Watson is technically good enough to be a top 4 test match batsmen...there's no hiding in test match cricket and inveitably you will be exposed...scoring 4Os 50s and then getting out might be good enough for Odi's and T20s but NOT test match cricket...he should bat no6 in tests...drop the atrocious cowen and bring in Forrest to open...aus top 6 should be-Warner,forrest,ponting,Michael Clarke,hussey,Watson with wade at 7....is quite sad actually how The AUS Batting line up has gone from GREATS like langer,Hayden,marytn,beven,Lehman,gilly ect.... to this average crop of blokes.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    @RandyOZ, suddenly facts are important before embarrassing yourself? But you've always done so well with the latter with no regard for the former. Also, what is this talk of Compton all the time? He hasn't played a game for England and doesn't really look like doing so. If England playing foreign-born players is so bad then surely you don't need to make things up to make it seem worse than it is. It seems that facts are optional again. Nor have you ever said anything positive about SA-born KP being replaced with England born Ian Bell. Again, if foreign-born players is so bad then surely you must think that that is a positive move, yet all you do is continue to moan. Seems more like just an excuse to moan rather than a genuine criticism.

  • hyclass on June 21, 2012, 13:56 GMT

    @Meety.S.Marsh???Surely you jest! His 1st class average has now fallen to 36. His S/R is pedestrian.I opposed his selection at national level and was able to predict his entire Test career(ave 27),with absolute certainty based upon his long term 1st class record.His success in India is in the IPL where stamina is irrelevent and the teams are often populated with mediocre bowlers on flat wickets and small grounds.Forget him..@jb633 Watson is incapable of playing as either a stock or strike bowler.He has only 59 wickets in 35 Tests.He lacks the stamina to play an innings of substance at Test level.He has just 2 Test 100's that required multiple dropped catches to accomplish and averages 37.The word'class' is usually used to cover for a lack of results.A Test batting lineup of Rogers,Warner,Ponting,Clarke,D.Hussey,M.Hussey,Wade,with Neville as back-up keeper and Hughes(ave 34)and Maxwell in the squad might prove a tougher proposition.I'd use Watson in ODI only & drop Cowans (ave 29).

  • jb633 on June 21, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    Watson is a quality performer in a very average side. Australia have been the best cricketing nation I have ever seen, but their fans are deluded with this current crop. I can't work out if people are being serious or joking. Plain and simple Australia are very very average. Their batting line up agains the moving ball( bar Hussey) is laughable and their bowling attack will surely get pummeled by Cook, Strauss and Trott. I do concede though as an English fan that the number of SA born players is getting ridiculous. It takes the meaning away from representing your country.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 11:29 GMT

    @Beertjie - good point you make about the tour of India prior to the Ashes. When it comes to Oz sides in India, I have long felt that we should use a different criteria for selecting teams - horses for courses. I know Kasper ended up with quite a few tours of India in his career, but in the past, I would of selected M Bevan more for those tours for example. I wonder whether S Marsh could come into the frame (not a fan), for tests in India? As for bowlers - I wonder whether someone like George would be considered again? Dunno. In England, I think Copeland would be GOLD, despite him probably struggling to be considered in the top 10 fully fit bowlers. Whatever the case with the India tour, the boys are going to have a tough time recalibrating then to English conditions, I hope there won't be a repeat of 2010 with that 2 test tour of India prior to the Ashes!

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 11:21 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - point taken, I see where you are coming from. I took it you were saying that England have played Narine well, & that Oz didn't, & so are better at playing spin, which is NOT what you were saying. I actually agreed with your overall point, that England do play spinners better in non-SC conditions. As far as Oz regaining the Ashes, I doubt a spinner will be the way we win it back anyway (unless a good leggie bursts thru to the Test team), it will be thru fighting fire with fire, our raw but very talented pacers V your seasoned, artful attack. The 09 Ashes, Swann really didn't have much of an impact (Hauritz matched him over the first 3 tests), until the last test where Oz infamously decided against using a spinner. As for playing in the Windies, they had some pitches that had variable bounce on the first day, (a great leveller), if they are at full strength, they will be very hard to beat when your mob goes there regardless of form or rankings.

  • Always-positive on June 21, 2012, 11:16 GMT

    Don't know what all the fuss about the Oz/Asian XI they can hardly keep up with New Zealand ( no disrespect to NZ), SA are so much better than OZ ( better batsmen.Fielders amd Bowlers ) 2 best teams in the world fighting for the no1 position, how that must hurt !, Oz may have a chance against Banga or Zim though.

  • scorchio on June 21, 2012, 10:49 GMT

    There is an error in this article - we actually had the Aussies at 2 runs for the loss of 3 wickets at the start of the Adelaide Test, not 3 runs for 2 wickets. I can see how it might get confusing with the backwards way of scoring over there but please can you amend.

  • Potatis on June 21, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    @F-F-L Of course when Australia win the ODI series 5-0 it doesn't avenge the ashes. That will happen when the test side is actually playing the ashes next year. The thrashing the English batsman will get from Cummins and Patterson in the ODI series will ensure that there is an aura about the Australian bowling attack come ashes time, and Australia will have the distinct psycological advantage.

  • Beertjie on June 21, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    @Cpt.Meanster, you make a few good points, but tours have changed because of the profit motive (euphemistically called "professionalisation"). So it won't be "all about planning and management", but rather selection of the 16 who will be technically up to the challenge, especially as this will be after a difficult tour to India. Given the different conditions, it should be horses for courses methinks rather than guys who have done well under quite different conditions, e.g., even if Lyons is less than impresive in India, he can regain form (to an extent) in England. But I would like to see some more talent emerging next season and I'll be watching some of the A-tour players.

  • Hammond on June 21, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    When it comes to playing against England get used to disappointment Watto :)

  • RandyOZ on June 21, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    @Leed1975 - No English player lost a home Ashes test? That's funny I remember Strauss, Bell and Pietersen getting crushed at Lord's in 05 by 239 runs. Get your facts straight before you embarass yourself further.

  • RandyOZ on June 21, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Will be an absolute whitewash. That bunch of poms/saffers have no chance, despite the new wave of Meaker, Kieswetter, Dernbach and Compton.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 21, 2012, 9:42 GMT

    Love the comments on here, and notice the missing faces from this comment board: Take a look at the comments below that are unanimously having a great laugh at Watson's expense.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @Meety on (June 21 2012, 07:42 AM GMT), that is exactly my point and therefore the Narine analogy illustrates it perfectly. This is a story about Australia trying to regain the Ashes in England and Kaze said that all they would need to do is get a good spinner. Narine's relative impact in England compared to elsewhere suggests that bringing a good spinner to England won't actually help all that much though. I'm not denying that England would likely find Narine difficult in WI but that has no relevance to Australia playing in England. RandyOZ likes to tell us how poor Swann is yet he's doing better here than the same Narine that blew Australia away in WI. That indicates that Swann is getting the best out of unhelpful conditions. A spinner who can do that will always be an asset and they're likely to be most effective bowling on the last couple of days of a Test match but if you haven't got the batsmen and fast bowlers to set yourself up in a winning position then that won;t help.

  • jonesy2 on June 21, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    why would going to england have bad memories. australia dominated the series in 2009, completely dominated. its not like england are a formidable team. it will be very surprising if england win a test match against australia in the back to back series

  • Valavan on June 21, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    @Cpt.meanster, you like to chuckle by whining about England, Take last 3 years as ICC Ranking is counted for, except UAE whitewash what did England underachieve. Can you show me any mediocre team that win 3 tests in Australia, square a series in SA and SL. Take a break mate. We dont want to say we will bash blah blah blah, but this English team has a proper management that manages resources effectively and this bunch of guys gelling well as a team. cricinfo hope you publish this.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 7:42 GMT

    @jmcilhinney - the Narine analogy is not a good one, although I do agree that the current England side don't really have an issue against spin outside the Sub-C. The Narine analogy IMO, fails because the conditions are totally different, on a small sample size Narine has a FC bowling ave of around 15-ish! He did well in India in the IPL, which suggest to me, he will be a handful when your mob tour the WIndies. @Leed1975 - point taken, but Clarke won't be dwelling on negatives, it ain't in his DNA me thinks!

  • YorkshirePudding on June 21, 2012, 7:33 GMT

    Well Australias first match was due to take place today, chances are it will be heavily affected by the rain. This is a teaser for next year, co-incidentaly its also 150 years since the first test match between these two teams was played, its ashame the Ashes couldnt have been held this year instead of the series agaisnt Sa, dam the Olympics.

  • Leed1975 on June 21, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    It will be over 12 years at the time of the Ashes since Australia last won in England - That's a whole generation of cricketers. Ponting is the only Aussie to remember winning and no English player has lost a home Ashes test. Also, look at the team sheets for the 2001 series: you would have to back the '01 Aussies against the current mob and the 2012 Englishmen against their '01 counterparts. Plenty of negative thoughts there to chew on for Watson and Clarke.

  • Cpt.Meanster on June 21, 2012, 5:04 GMT

    England are making hay while the sun shines, albeit the hay happens to be in their backyard. England are usually mediocre away from home. Sure they beat the Aussies down under recently but then so did the Proteas a couple of years ago. It's all about planning and management. If Australia can arrive at least a month earlier and play loads of first class games before the 1st test at Lords', then I cannot see England beating Australia. On the other hand if you are like the Indians or any busy Asian team with little time on your hands, then it's gonna be a full blooded wallop yonder.

  • on June 21, 2012, 4:52 GMT

    Eat your heart out mate!!! another hammering for the aussies :)))

  • Patchmaster on June 21, 2012, 4:23 GMT

    @ Popcorn. You're funny mate. I think I heard that about a thousand times during the series before, and the series before that. We whacked your medium pace Aussie 'quicks' around, and terrified your 'stalwart' Aussie batsmen. I'll never forget the look on Ricky Pontings face when Harmison hit him square on the face, or when Flintoff bamboozled them or when Anderson mezmerized them. Or when Cook drilled over 700 runs or when Broad sliced through them.........ah......bring it on.

  • rahulcricket007 on June 21, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    watson wants to be an avenger & regain ashes . LOLZ , watson should see their batting line up , warner is hit & miss like sehwag & will definitely get a pair like sehwag got against anderson by flashing at the swinging ball , ponting can't buy a run these days except against india bowlers , wade has also been found puzzled by spin bowling ( also he is a left hander & swann will feast on him ) ed cowan doesn't look a to great with no big innings in his 7 test career & was found out by roach & company in wi , only clarke & hussey have some strength to face english bowlers . i can predict another 3-1 victory for england .

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 3:43 GMT

    @Kaze on (June 21 2012, 03:21 AM GMT), like so many people, you seem to be missing the obvious fact that England have only had issues with spinners in subcontinent(-like) conditions. Look at the problems that Australia had against Narine in the Caribbean recently. He actually had better figures in the ODI series there than Ajmal did in the ODI series against England in UAE. Now look at how England are handling Narine at the moment. Playing in England is probably the toughest assignment there is for a spinner, because the pitches don't provide the turn of Asia/WI or the bounce of Australia/SA. England know that and it's quite obvious that they play spin differently at home. If they avoid the ultra-cautious approach they adopted against Pakistan then they'll likely improve against spin outside England too. They started playing more positively in SL and looked better for it. That said, I do find it interesting that you're suggesting that Australia need to get a good spinner.

  • Kaze on June 21, 2012, 3:21 GMT

    How to beat the English, get a good spinner. I have never seen a #1 rated side that is so inept against quality spin bowling.

  • popcorn on June 21, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    I recall The Ashes 2005 which we lost,and came back to wallop England 5 nil in 2006 -07.I predict England will be shattered in The Ashes 2013 by the tactical and agressive brilliance of the Leader Michael Clarke and the backbone of Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey,Shane Watson,Ed Cowan,David Warner,Mathew Wade, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris,Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle.With Nathan Lyon spinning a web around the Pommie's legs.

  • Naren on June 21, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    He never performs in crucial series. Hope he can turn it around. Mainly convert his fifties into hundreds..

  • demon_bowler on June 21, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Watto is too nice. What happened to all the nasty Aussies? How are we supposed to enjoy walloping you?

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @Micgyver/chicko1983 - LOL! Well said! == == == C,mon boys, enuff talking things up in the press, low profile under the radar for the rest of the tour!

  • subbass on June 21, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    5-0 England ? Yes please. That would get us to numero uno in ALL formats of the game, mind you if we manage that I will happily amputate my arm with a kitchen knife ! Should be a close series though, what with us having won our last 6 ODI series on home turf and the Aussies been the current number 1 ODI side. Pat Cummins is the big danger to my mind, but hopefully Belly and Cooky can handle him, plus he may be a bit rusty with(and correct me if I am wrong) him been out of action in the international arena for so long.

    Not as concerned about the Aussie batting as I am the bowling but it is still pretty decent to be fair.

  • Micgyver on June 20, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    @FFLunge..There is no doubt in anyones mind and certainly the players are under no illusion that this series is an Ashes revenge.However if you think Australia's cupboards are bare you are kidding yourself.Bask in the sun whilst you can cause just like the English weather it wont last long.

  • chicko1983 on June 20, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    @F-F-L - Watson is talking about the test series next year, not the upcoming ODI series, avenging the last Ashes series. This ODI series is for familiarisation of the conditions. Comprehension fail!

  • on June 20, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Shane Watson is a good all rounder, there is a little doubt about that, but I still prefer S. Al Hasan. Shane might fare better in England, South Africa and Australia, perhaps even New Zealand, but on the sub continent and the West Indies S. Al Hasan will fare much better, both in batting and bowling.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 20, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    How the Ashes haunt Australia! three innings defeats and the bitterness still burns strong. Even if Australia somehow win 5-0 in the ODI's which doesn't look likely to happen, not even their most die-hard chatterers would for a minute proclaim it as 'Ashes Avenged'!! Whilst England continue to march onwards in the one-day game, Australia's cupboard continues to look bare.

  • EnglishCricket on June 20, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Shane Watson is some fine player he's simply top class and probably along with Angelo Matthews and Shakib Al Hasan the current worlds best All-Rounders by far. This ODI Series against England is a good chance for Shane Watson to regain the Number 1 All-Rounder position in ODIs so good luck Shane want to see some great entertainment from ya!

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • EnglishCricket on June 20, 2012, 19:16 GMT

    Shane Watson is some fine player he's simply top class and probably along with Angelo Matthews and Shakib Al Hasan the current worlds best All-Rounders by far. This ODI Series against England is a good chance for Shane Watson to regain the Number 1 All-Rounder position in ODIs so good luck Shane want to see some great entertainment from ya!

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on June 20, 2012, 20:27 GMT

    How the Ashes haunt Australia! three innings defeats and the bitterness still burns strong. Even if Australia somehow win 5-0 in the ODI's which doesn't look likely to happen, not even their most die-hard chatterers would for a minute proclaim it as 'Ashes Avenged'!! Whilst England continue to march onwards in the one-day game, Australia's cupboard continues to look bare.

  • on June 20, 2012, 21:46 GMT

    Shane Watson is a good all rounder, there is a little doubt about that, but I still prefer S. Al Hasan. Shane might fare better in England, South Africa and Australia, perhaps even New Zealand, but on the sub continent and the West Indies S. Al Hasan will fare much better, both in batting and bowling.

  • chicko1983 on June 20, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    @F-F-L - Watson is talking about the test series next year, not the upcoming ODI series, avenging the last Ashes series. This ODI series is for familiarisation of the conditions. Comprehension fail!

  • Micgyver on June 20, 2012, 23:53 GMT

    @FFLunge..There is no doubt in anyones mind and certainly the players are under no illusion that this series is an Ashes revenge.However if you think Australia's cupboards are bare you are kidding yourself.Bask in the sun whilst you can cause just like the English weather it wont last long.

  • subbass on June 21, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    5-0 England ? Yes please. That would get us to numero uno in ALL formats of the game, mind you if we manage that I will happily amputate my arm with a kitchen knife ! Should be a close series though, what with us having won our last 6 ODI series on home turf and the Aussies been the current number 1 ODI side. Pat Cummins is the big danger to my mind, but hopefully Belly and Cooky can handle him, plus he may be a bit rusty with(and correct me if I am wrong) him been out of action in the international arena for so long.

    Not as concerned about the Aussie batting as I am the bowling but it is still pretty decent to be fair.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 0:31 GMT

    @Micgyver/chicko1983 - LOL! Well said! == == == C,mon boys, enuff talking things up in the press, low profile under the radar for the rest of the tour!

  • demon_bowler on June 21, 2012, 1:14 GMT

    Watto is too nice. What happened to all the nasty Aussies? How are we supposed to enjoy walloping you?

  • Naren on June 21, 2012, 1:55 GMT

    He never performs in crucial series. Hope he can turn it around. Mainly convert his fifties into hundreds..

  • popcorn on June 21, 2012, 3:12 GMT

    I recall The Ashes 2005 which we lost,and came back to wallop England 5 nil in 2006 -07.I predict England will be shattered in The Ashes 2013 by the tactical and agressive brilliance of the Leader Michael Clarke and the backbone of Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey,Shane Watson,Ed Cowan,David Warner,Mathew Wade, James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins, Ryan Harris,Ben Hilfenhaus and Peter Siddle.With Nathan Lyon spinning a web around the Pommie's legs.