Ashes 2017: England don't fear Australia anymore and head to Gabba as favourites, feels spin legend Shane Warne

Spin legend Shane Warne says Australia are in a state of "confusion" heading into the Ashes series, with England primed for a first Gabba Test boilover.

AFP, Nov 18, 2017 13:54:53 IST

Sydney: Spin legend Shane Warne says Australia are in a state of "confusion" heading into the Ashes series, with England primed for a first Gabba Test boilover.

Even amid the massive distraction of the Ben Stokes assault saga, Warne believes it's the tourists who no longer hold any fears about an unsettled Australian cricket team.

The leg-spin great says Australia are in a shambles with wicket-keeper Tim Paine's surprise selection pointing to a lack of direction from selectors.

Ashes 2017: England dont fear Australia anymore and head to Gabba as favourites, feels spin legend Shane Warne

File image of Australian spin legend Shane Warne. Reuters

Paine, chosen for his first Test in seven years, and 34- year-old Shaun Marsh recalled to the Test side for the eighth time, were the controversial selections announced on Friday for next week's first Test in Brisbane.

Pundits say Australia's Gabba fortress, where the home side is unbeaten in almost 30 years, is now under threat from an England squad missing their best player in all-rounder Stokes, back at home and under investigation over a nightclub brawl.

"At the moment, where the biggest shift has come over the last few years is they don't fear Australia anymore," Warne told reporters on Friday.

"England no longer fear Australia and haven't for a long time and hence that's why they can beat Australia.

"England, I think at the moment, are just going along nicely. They're just doing their business.

"Australia look confused. They're picking wicket-keepers that aren't even keeping for their state.

"To me, I think England are in a better situation going into that first Test match than what Australia are."

Television commentating veteran Bill Lawry agreed with Warne that Australia is missing a Mitchell Johnston-styled intimidator, despite Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins capable of bowling fast.

"I think the big key to this Ashes series is Mitchell Johnson and he's not playing," Lawry said.

"If I was an opening batsman I wouldn't be losing too much sleep facing the Australian pace attack as far as pace is concerned.

"They're all good bowlers but they're not going to frighten you."

Former Test captain Michael Clarke said the Australian team was unsure about their playing style heading into the five-Test series.

Warne is predicting the Ashes series to be the hardest-fought and most dramatic since the iconic 2005 campaign, which England famously won in a fifth-Test decider.

Warne added that both sides are weak because they rely too much on two players — Australia on David Warner and Steve Smith and England on Alastair Cook and Joe Root.

"It will get down to how those guys bat," said Warne.

Updated Date: Nov 18, 2017 13:54:53 IST


World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254