‘Aussies close to vulnerability for Ashes’
Michael Vaughan believes favourites Australia could still only be one injury away from Ashes series “vulnerability”.
Former England captain Vaughan insists that Joe Root’s tourists could yet shake off all their preAshes problems and claim an unlikely series win, if injuries play their part.
England will step into the cauldron of an opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on November 23, with Vaughan claiming that the tourists’ senior stars have to step up for Root’s side to stand any chance of victory.
“Australia are favourites on their home soil, but they are carrying people too,” said Vaughan. “They are one injury away from being very vulnerable.
“You have two outstanding players in Smith and Warner. Around them you have vulnerability.
“They don’t have the engine room of England but then again that engine room doesn’t have a lot of success behind it in conditions like they’ll find in Australia.”
James Vince has been drafted in as England seek extra frontline batting balance, with the 26-year-old having been in the Test wilderness since his last appearance in August 2016.
Vaughan believes the Hampshire star must now seize would could well prove his last chance to prove his Test match class.
“James Vince should look at this as an opportunity that would not come,” said Vaughan, speaking on behalf of BT Sport.
“Around August time, he was signing contracts, a Big Bash contract, he’d signed in the South African league and was probably looking at the Pakistan Super League.
“His mindset was away from England’s Test match fortunes. He has been given a chance. Sometimes that chance comes unexpectedly and you take it. This is the one chance he’s got.
“Cook and Root, within the batting unit, are going to be crucial to how England play. It will come down to that senior group of seven – Cook, Bairstow, Ali, Woakes, Anderson, Broad and Root – to perform.
“It would be wrong not to focus on them and say ‘come on, lads, it’s our week this week. We can’t be reliant on the four relatively inexperienced players this week. We will try to drag them along but it’s down to us seven’.”
England captain Joe Root is a week away from the first Test