Aussies’ Ashes warn­ing

Arab News - - SPORTS - ARAB NEWS

LON­DON: Aus­tralia have been told to think again if they are as­sum­ing Ashes vic­tory is all but guar­an­teed.

That mes­sage has come from Ryan Har­ris, part of the Aussie at­tack that de­stroyed England 5-0 the last time the sides faced each other Down Un­der.

With just a week un­til the first Test gets un­der­way in Bris­bane, a lot of the talk sur­round­ing the tourists is neg­a­tive. From the ab­sence of Ben Stokes (pic­tured) — still un­able to travel due to a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an al­leged as­sault in Bris­tol two months ago — to in­jured bowlers, to the worry that the side is un­der­cooked, there are seem­ingly more ques­tions than an­swers about Joe Root’s side.

Har­ris, how­ever, has warned that while England’s prepa­ra­tions have been far from ideal the side still have enough abil­ity to beat the hosts.

“If there were in­juries to Broad and An­der­son you’d def­i­nitely go along with that line that they prob­a­bly would strug­gle,” Har­ris told Reuters.

“But the bot­tom line is their two main bowlers that lead their at­tack are fit and fir­ing.

“The third quick, who I think is go­ing to be (Chris) Woakes, is pretty handy as well. We saw that the other night, es­pe­cially un­der lights.

“You can’t write off teams just be­cause of in­juries. It can ac­tu­ally make you stronger be­cause as a group, you come to­gether.

“I know there’s a lot of talk out there in the me­dia and in the pub­lic but I don’t think they’re go­ing to be easy to beat.

“I think we’ll win, but I don’t think it will be an easy win like some peo­ple are say­ing.”

Mean­while, Root has said he’ll re­main com­pletely un­fazed if, as ex­pected, Aus­tralia tar­get him out in the mid­dle.

“I’ve heard a lot of chat about them tar­get­ing me in par­tic­u­lar,” the England skip­per said.

“From our point of view we’ll be tar­get­ing every sin­gle one of them, we won’t be sin­gling any guys out.”

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