Waugh and piece of the Ashes action

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Guide - GE­OFF SHEARER

TEST cricket great Mark Waugh is go­ing in to bat for the Aussies in the Ashes. But he’s re­lieved he will be do­ing it from the com­men­tary box.

Waugh toured Bri­tain dur­ing the 2001 Ashes se­ries, the year be­fore he re­tired from in­ter­na­tional cricket.

He was too busy set­tling in to mar­ried life to go over for the English sum­mer in 2005, hav­ing wed Syd­ney Cup-winning thor­ough­bred trainer Kim Moore. This year, he’ll be com­men­tat­ing for Fox Sports.

‘‘Prob­a­bly glad I wasn’t there in ’05 see­ing as we lost,’’ Waugh says with a grin.

‘‘It wouldn’t have been too good sit­ting among the English spec­ta­tors while we were get­ting beaten.’’

Waugh be­lieves Aus­tralia has the abil­ity to hang on to the Ashes.

‘‘We have a pretty good pace bowl­ing at­tack and beat­ing South Africa in South Africa was good form to take into the Ashes,’’ he says.

‘‘If we play that well in Eng­land we should sneak home, yeah.’’

The English squad con­tains four or five play­ers who could change the mo­men­tum of the Tests, Waugh says. He cites cap­tain An­drew Strauss, Kevin Pi­etersen and An­drew Flintoff as the per­form­ers to watch.

‘‘Then there’s some­one like James An­der­son, who’s bowl­ing very well,’’ he says.

‘‘They have a danger­ous side, par­tic­u­larly if Pi­etersen and Flintoff are fit and fir­ing.’’

The Aus­tralian Ashes squad ‘‘sort of picks it­self’’, he says.

‘‘It’s just go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing to see who they se­lect as the fast bowlers.

‘‘They have a lot of depth and a cou­ple of ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers with good records com­ing back from in­jury. Whether they will force out the guys who did well in South Africa — well, it’s a jug­gling act by the se­lec­tors.’’

Waugh will work along­side fel­low for­mer Aus­tralian Test crick­eters Al­lan Bor­der, Bren­don Ju­lian, Greg Blewett and Damien Flem­ing on the Ashes se­ries, start­ing July 8. The 2009 Ashes se­ries Fox Sports, Wed­nes­day, 7.30pm First Test, Cardiff Du­ra­tion: 7 hours

On a win­ner: for­mer Aussie Test bats­man Mark Waugh.

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