Thatscricket - News - Australia far from invincible: Thomson
Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2000
Talk or you are out, ACB tells Mark Waugh
London: Fast bowling great Jeff Thomson said here on Wednesday that the present Australia Test team were far from invincible. "They are a good side but they haven't been tested lately," said Australia great Thomson, who in partnership with Dennis Lillee formed one of world cricket's most devastating fast bowling duos during the 1970s.There's not that much between winning and losing," said Thomson at Lord's where England were unveiling a new Test match sponsor. "Australia haven't really been put under pressure lately. Obviously with guys like Michael Slater in the top order and Adam Gilchrist, a good keeper coming in at seven or even eight, the batting is very strong."Brett Lee is a very good bowler. He's as sharp as Shoaib Akhtar of Pakistan," said Thomson, who still holds the official world record for the fastest delivery. "But he (Lee) has had a back injury and a back injury is a back injury," said Thomson, whose own pace was reduced due to shoulder problems. Jason Gillespie's a good bowler but he too has had back trouble."Thomson, who assisted Zimbabwe during their tour here last year said he'd been impressed by England's recent form which has seen them win three Test series in a row. "These fellahs (England) have played under a lot of stress for a lot of time but they have started to come through. They've brought some new guys in and I'm sure there is more respect for the England team in Australia than there was a year ago."There was a time 10 years ago when we (Australia) were copping a flogging from everybody but the wheel turns."After England play two home Tests against Pakistan this summer, Australia visit for a five-match Ashes series. One of the star attractions ought to be elegant Australia batsman Mark Waugh. But his international future was under a cloud on Wednesday after he was given a 24-hour ultimatum to end his refusal to talk to match-fixing investigators or be dropped from the Australia team."The ACB (Australia Cricket Board) should have been tough with Mark years ago," said Thomson, who added that their current hard line stance smacked of making up for lost time.Waugh and Shane Warne took money for weather and pitch information from an Indian bookmaker in 1994 but it was not until four years later, under pressure from the Australian press, that the ACB admitted the incident.