Cricket

Aus' Ashes prep 'a shambles'

2010-08-05 08:53
Shane Warne (AFP)

Sydney - Shane Warne fears Australia will be badly under-prepared for their opening Ashes Test against a red-hot England in November.

The Australian leg-spin great said Ricky Ponting's team may pay for a lack of match practice in the longer form of the game before the series opener in Brisbane on November 25.

"I think it's a shambles to be honest and this is so unfair on our players when they're preparing for a much-anticipated Ashes series," Warne told the Herald-Sun newspaper on Thursday.

"They basically have two Tests in India in October and that's it until the Ashes as far as the longer form of the game is concerned.

"You can get away with limited match practice prior to a series against Pakistan or the West Indies, but not an in-form England."

In contrast, England are playing Pakistan in a three-Test home series this month before they have two three-day games and one four-dayer in Australia ahead of the Brisbane Test.

Warne, who bagged 708 Test wickets, said England have a more settled line-up in the countdown to the Ashes, while Australia's selectors are not sure about their best eleven.

"I think they're in two minds about what their best batting and bowling line-ups are going into such a crucial series," he said.

But Warne remained confident Australia can regain the Ashes, although he is wary following England's demolition of Pakistan in the first Test at Trent Bridge last weekend.

"England is settled and they're clicking at the right time," Warne said.

"We'll need to be at our best because England aren't overawed or intimidated by Australia.

"Graeme Swann is the most improved bowler in world cricket and Jimmy Anderson is in great form. They have the ability to take 20 wickets in a match and that's what it comes down to."

England hold the Ashes after winning the last series 2-1 at home.

Read more on:    graeme swann  |  shane warne  |  ricky ponting
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