Waugh warns of room for improvement
In an ominous warning to England, Steve Waugh expects Australia to shed their first-Test "looseness" and improve even further as the series progresses. Waugh, who was a masterful figure on four Ashes tours, wrote in his Daily Telegraph column that England missed a "golden opportunity" at Lord's when they had Australia wobbling on the first day.
"England goes to Edgbaston for the second Test on a tightrope of self-belief," Waugh wrote. "Only Steve Harmison and Kevin Pietersen will plonk their coffins down with confidence. It will be a true test of Duncan Fletcher's man-management and Michael Vaughan's ability to inspire and motivate his side."
While Vaughan struggles to recover from a nasty elbow injury, England will also consider replacing Ashley Giles with Paul Collingwood on an under-prepared Edgbaston wicket. With the match starting on Thursday, Waugh suggested England remember the opening Test at the same ground eight years ago when Australia were thumped by nine wickets.
"Perhaps England should look at the demolition job they did on us in '97 for reassurance that anything is possible," he wrote. "Australia will have scoured the tapes of the Lord's Test, admired their work after day one and identified the technical deficiencies of most of England's top order." Waugh said both teams had room for improvement, but Australia had the stronger hold on the series because of their mental toughness.