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England catching up but still a way to go, says Law

Published: Friday, September 27, 2002, 18:30 [IST]
 
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Brisbane: England has assembled a quality squad for its Ashes cricket campaign in Australia later this year, but it still has a way to go, Australian cricketer Stuart Law said on Friday.

Law has returned home from another English County summer with Lancashire warning that England has to improve on its tied home series with India if it wanted to avoid its eighth successive Ashes series loss. "I've got no predictions about who will win the series but they're definitely starting to get a quality, class outfit together," said Law, who has just completed his 14th consecutive cricket season at home and abroad. "They're hyping it up as the biggest Test series but they're going to have to lift from what happened during their summer. "They beat Sri Lanka without Murali, and when he did play he didn't appear to be fit. "They tied India 1-1 at home and if they think that's going to be good enough when they come to Australia, they probably should think again. "But they've got the personnel if they can forget about things outside cricket and they've got some young cricketers who can learn a lot." Law praised England's opening batsmen Marcus Trescothick and Michael Vaughan, while pointing to the recent withdrawal of Graham Thorpe as a worry for the middle order. He said the bowlers, particularly Matthew Hoggard, would toil for skipper Nasser Hussain while young paceman Stephen Harmison was quick and extracted handy bounce. "One thing they do lack is a decent spinner," Law said. "Ashley Giles' main job is to bowl maidens and, on the pitches here, he's not going to get the same help he's got in other places." Law will play against England when the tourists meet Queensland in a three-day game here from November 2, five days before the opening Test of the five-Test series at the Gabba.

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