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July 24, 2005
Mark Waugh, who won the Ashes six times, believes England's quick return to the mistakes of previous sides will remain for the rest of the series. Writing in his Sun-Herald column, Waugh said most of the bowlers had gone missing at crucial times and the batsmen were guilty of indecision.
"Under pressure, old habits have quickly resurfaced with sloppy fielding, poor body language, negative batting and inconsistent bowling coming to the fore," he said. "All the talk before this Test was how much England have improved, but apart from Harmison and Flintoff I can't see how they are any more dangerous or likely to beat us than other English teams."
Waugh said his suspicion of a suspect batting line-up that was untried against quality bowlers had been confirmed at Lord's. "With the bat, indecisive strokeplay and a negative mindset has given the Aussies a head start."
A player who scored 1189 runs in 17 Tests in England, Waugh said Australia's batsmen "foolishly tried to force the issue" on day one. "It is a fine line to tread balancing aggressive, positive cricket, but not going overboard and losing respect for your opponents and your wicket," he said. "This is one of the few chinks in their armour ... I doubt whether the Australians will bat as recklessly as they did on the first day again."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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