England's flaws remain - Buchanan
John Buchanan, the Australian coach, has said that England's weaknesses that he spotted during the NatWest Series were still obvious even though England has been dominant in the last two Tests at Edgbaston and Old Trafford.
He said that Michael Vaughan and Andrew Strauss were let off early in their innings after which they proceeded to score centuries at Old Trafford. "I know England are saying 'gee, isn't it amazing Australia are happy to get a draw these days?'," Buchanan was quoted as saying by sportinglife.com. "But in the course of a series things develop and we could talk about Ricky Ponting's innings, what Brett Lee did throughout the Manchester match, Shane Warne again and we saw the failures of Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff with the bat."
Buchanan maintained that Australia had created winning opportunities all through the series and it was just a matter of taking advantage of them. "We created chances from the top order, we have all summer. So there are lots of good things there - it is now a matter of sticking it all together. The win will only come from us doing the things we can do well; we probably haven't stuck all that together that well so that is our major focus, to put our game together and deliver throughout the whole Test."
The impetus is with England to go all out for a series win because a drawn series will result in Australia retaining the Ashes for a ninth consecutive time. However Buchanan said that playing for a draw was not in the Australian psyche. "We know two draws would be fine but I would be disappointed if that was in the thinking of any of our players. I don't really want to go in with that sort of approach," said Buchanan. "We are beginning our preparation for the one game that is really important to us right now, the fourth Test at Trent Bridge. That is our focus and we will go into that game wanting to win it."
Jason Gillespie's spot in the team is in serious jeopardy after a terrible loss of form. He has taken only three wickets in as many Tests at an extravagant average of 100. Shaun Tait and Michael Kasprowicz are both staking their claims and they will have a chance to make an impression when the Australians plays Northamptonshire on August 20. "It [The tour game] will have some bearing obviously," Buchanan said. "But I think what we need to do is be very clear on how we want to play the game and that really dictates the final make-up of the Test side. Jason is just the same as anybody else at the moment."