Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Aussies Will Need to Be at Best to Win Ashes, Says Strauss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Aussies Will Need to Be at Best to Win Ashes, Says Strauss

Article excerpt

ENGLAND'S director of cricket Andrew Strauss has warned Australia they will have to produce "outstanding cricket" if they are to end their long wait for an Ashes series triumph on these shores.

Australia head into this summer's five-match series as favourites after their 5-0 mauling of England on home soil 18 months ago and recent successes at the World Cup and in the West Indies.

However, the Australians have not won the Ashes in England since 2001 and Strauss feels the tourists will need to be near their best to end that run in the coming months.

He said: "We know this Australia side is a good side, they're full of confidence, they've just won the World Cup.

"They'll be a hard side to beat but we'll hopefully have the support of the nation behind the players and it's a hard thing to win away from home.

"I think if Australia do win they'll have to play outstanding cricket to do so."

Former England skipper Strauss, who led his nation to Ashes success home and away, also believes the 2015 edition could be decided by whichever team can capitalise best on the "big moments" during the series.

Asked what you need to do to win the Ashes, the 38-year-old added: "Very simply, win the big moments.

"There will be plenty of times over the next seven weeks where both sides are very even and the match will be on the line and those are the times you need to grab the game by the scruff of the neck. Pretty simple in theory, in practice a bit more diffi-cult."

It will be a new-look England who will face the Australians this summer, coach Trevor Bayliss taking charge of his first series and a team with confi-dence on the rise following the recent Test and one-dayers against New Zealand.

England's commitment to attacking cricket against the Black Caps has been welcomed by long-suffering fans of the national team and Strauss expects more of the same under Australian Bayliss. …

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