Sydney: England skipper Nasser Hussain says a varied bowling attack is the key to claiming cricket's Ashes from Australia for the first time since 1986-87.
But for that to happen Hussain says the England players needed to be fit if they were to get amongst the Australian wickets. Fast bowler Darren Gough is expected to miss the opening two Tests in Brisbane and Adelaide next month with a knee injury and Andy Flintoff is slowly recovering from a double hernia operation. "I think the key in Australia is having your full variety of bowling," Hussain said on television on Friday. "The Kookaburra ball does get soft after 15, 20 overs and for too long England have just had a nice, pitch-it-up swing bowler or something that comes on to the ball nicely. "We've just got to try and rough a few people up and hopefully with (Steve) Harmison and (Simon) Jones, we've got that in our armoury." Durham's Harmison captured five wickets on debut for England in the drawn second Test against India in Nottingham. The pace duo will be vying for a spot in the first Test line-up alongside Andrew Caddick, Mathew Hoggard and Flintoff. Hussain, whose wife is expecting her second child on November 20, wants all his bowlers firing. "Gough, Harmison, Jones, Caddick, Hoggard - they're a good combination of bowlers but we've got to get them fit really," Hussain said. On the issue of sledging, Hussain said he had read about the verbal stoush between Australian opener Matt Hayden and Pakistan express bowler Shoaib Akhtar in the recent first Test in Colombo. "I just think that's part of world cricket at the moment. But if you give it, make sure you can take it as well," he said. "That's the problem when you're a batter. You're always one ball away from getting out and getting a final verbal."
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