The Ashes 2010-11 October 22, 2010

Bowlers will win Ashes for Australia - Lillee

ESPNcricinfo staff

Dennis Lillee has tipped Australia to regain the Ashes because they have a stronger bowling attack. Lillee, who took 167 wickets in 29 Tests against England, believes the hosts' current line-up is superior.

"In the end it's got to be [about] your attack - you've got to bowl sides out twice," Lillee told Sky Sports Radio. "If I look at both attacks I think Australia - even without Warne and McGrath - have a better attack than England.

"[Their] spinning attack - they may use spin twins - may be better than ours because Nathan Hauritz is still evolving, but overall our attack is better and that's where games are won."

England lifted the Ashes at home in 2005 and 2009 but were beaten 5-0 in Australia in 2006-07, with McGrath, Warne and Langer retiring at the end of the series. "It's going to be much closer than the other ones [in Australia]," Lillee said. "But we should probably win it 2-1 or 3-2."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • David on October 28, 2010, 1:51 GMT

    You have to love the English comments about how good Swann is wasnt Monty Panesar on the verge of being the greatest spin bowler in history this time 4 years ago.

  • Aidan on October 23, 2010, 15:15 GMT

    Johnson is mentally vulnerable, we all know that. But its very close in terms of the attacks and there are a lot of unknowns. England have the one clear area of superiority in the spin department where Australia are clearly very poor and England have the best spionner in the world.

    In the pace attacks I could quite easily make a case for both sides and each bowler being the best. A lot depends on who turns up on the day. Anderson and Daisy both have histories of going down the drain. Broad can be a God on his day but has some poor ones too. The rest are basically unproven.

    The fact its in Australia has to help Australia, the fact Aus have the worst batting will obviously help England.

    Take your pick.

  • Mark on October 23, 2010, 14:24 GMT

    The fact is most people in England won't care about this particular ashes series. Given that the fact that the football season will be in full swing when the ashes starts, I can't see people staying up late in middle of winter to watch it, unless and only if England plays well and challenge australia strongly like the England team did way back in 1987. Otherwise nobody in England will care. The future of Liverpool football club however I suspect will be grabbing the attention of most sports fans in England rather than the Ashes. I personally will love to see a good ashes contest downunder.

  • Adam on October 23, 2010, 7:11 GMT

    Gee your not too one eyed at all are u sir freddie flintoff. Its going to be a close series and i think lillee has nailed it perfectly. also has anyone noticed the calibre of teams england has played the last 12 months.... bangladesh twice and pakistan..... hmmmm no wonder their bowlers are doing so well...

  • Dummy4 on October 23, 2010, 5:36 GMT

    Gee! A fair bit of ill-informed dribble going on here! I would have to agree with Lillee to a point ... I think Australia has the better attack due to it being in Australia. I must stress that it is only just better, and a lot depends on Johnson. People are quick to bag him due to his poor performance in 09, but he is a different bowler at home. Finn & Broad could be a real handful out here if they get their lengths right, Swann is clearly a better spinner than Hauritz ... no contest there. But remember 05? Giles bowled in a containment role to get through the overs and rest Jones, Fred, Harmy & Hoggy. He did his job and any wicket was a bonus. That is Hauritz's role. Also many people bring up 09 & the 08/09 SA series and Aussie bowlers supposed poor performance. At that stage Johnson, Hilfy, Siddle & Hauritz had about 20 tests between them. They are more experienced & better bowlers now. I don't know who will win. Should be a great series.

  • Matthew on October 23, 2010, 2:13 GMT

    @ Trickstar, Due to my bad grammer, it may have came across that i think NZ conditions are flat. I didn't mean this. Sorry

  • Tim on October 22, 2010, 23:29 GMT

    The difference will be the conditions. Without the Duke ball and the heavy atmosphere of England, the ball won't swing anywhere near as much. Whether any of the English bowlers can adapt to the necessity in Australia of hitting the pitch and relying on bounce and tiny amounts of seam, and how the batsmen adapt to the bounce, will be the decisive factor. If the English can get the Kookaburra to move, it will be a rout in England's favour. Our batting is currently at its lowest point since the mid-1980s and can not handle a ball that moves. There are some skilled players there, but all sadly out of form (when Watson is your best batsman, you aren't a good Test team).

    The teams are fairly much even overall, except when the ball moves about. Of the Australian attack, only Hilfenhaus can move the ball, of the Australian batsmen none can handle a ball that swings. The best chance for England to win is for Ponting to overuse that so-called strike bowler, Johnson, and bleed runs quickly.

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2010, 22:58 GMT

    Moreover, anyone who watched the Pakistan series against England and thought that Pakistan could have won or drawn had they fielded well needs a visit to Specsavers. Pakistan's batting was woeful, they fielded like a village team and allegedly are not sure if the white line of the popping crease should be where you bowl behind or in front depending on how much you want depositing in the bank. Agreed, Pakistan's bowling attack is probably as good, if not better, than anyone's in world cricket (or was depending on bans), but when you keep getting rolled for under 100, then you cannot win Test matches.

  • Steve on October 22, 2010, 22:57 GMT

    If the great DK Lillie were playing then I'd definately agree! What a truly class act he was.... Being an ex bowler I suppose it's natura for him l to reckon the bowlers are the key? However as much as I admire and respect Mr Lillie I have to disagree. The side that wins the Ashes will be the side who can score around 500 runs in the first Innings consistently. Could this be England? Maybe.... but only if the likes of KP, Cooke and Morgan perform. How things have changed..... Australia is no longer a place for prisoners! I would have to pick the Aussie sides batting as being the more likely to succeeed.... but who really knows? It's going to be a wonderful match up and may the best side win. COME ON ENGLAND!!!

  • Dummy4 on October 22, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Despite being a proud Englishman, I'm not one to knock an Australian legend of the game such as Dennis Lillee, but I think he's called this wrong. Maybe not in predicting the result of an Aussie win, however I think the difference in the sides is the batting. Both batting line ups are liable to collapses especially in the second innings of games, but I think the Australian batting in home conditions is far more reliable than ours. As for the bowling, I think we have the edge since Swann is far better than either Hauritz or North. Furthermore, I believe there's not much to choose from Anderson (if fit), Broad and Finn, and Bollinger, Hilfenhaus and Johnson. If we play well, I think we can win, but realistically I reckon we'll lose a close series. I'm sure like most cricket fans, I'm really looking forward to set of intriguing games.

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