Marsh - Aussie~~s loss, England~~s gain: Lillee

Published: Friday, May 30, 2003, 21:10 [IST]
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London: Australia great Dennis Lillee has said England have trumped their oldest rivals by making his friend and former team-mate Rodney Marsh a selector. "Marshy's got one of the best cricket brains in Australia and will do a great job," Lillee insisted. "I could never have imagined Marshy being an England selector 20 years ago," added legendary fast bowler Lillee who together with wicketkeeper Marsh formed a potent attacking partnership at both state and Test level. "It just begs the question of why it never happened in Australia," Lillee also told on Thursday's edition of the 'London Evening Standard'. "He's coached enough young kids but was never made a selector which makes you wonder." Earlier this month Marsh, formerly Australia's academy coach before being put in charge of England's equivalent when it was formed in 2001, replaced Test captain Nasser Hussain as a selector. And Lillee said he was looking forward to meeting his fellow Western Australian to find out how he was getting on. "I'm not sure what his first impressions are but he's always pretty positive. I'll be going for a few sherbets (alcholic drinks) with him next week so I will let you know," added Lillee, in England to promote his autobiography, 'Menace'. Since retiring from international cricket in 1984 with a then world record 355 Test wickets to his name, Lillee has become a noted fast bowling coach, setting up a special school for promising quicks in Madras. England have not beaten Australia in a Test series since 1986-87 but Lillee believes the crop of young fast bowlers currently coming through will help them turn the tide. "England will win the Ashes again because everything changes. James Anderson has come from the Lancashire leagues to Test cricket in 12 months, which is amazing. I can't say he's got what it takes but he's got a real chance." "With Simon Jones in the background and Darren Gough maybe coming back, England have a bloody good squad of quicks. Stephen Harmison's got a little glitch in his action but is coming down from 6ft 9in, which is not a bad advantage. Top batsmen always reckon it's not pace or swing that really worries them but bounce." "I've not seen too much of Jones but he looked fantastic before his injury (ruptured knee ligaments during the first Ashes Test of the 2002-03 series at Brisbane). Ashley Giles (left-arm spinner) is handy as well so the bowling is not too bad. In all the boxes the crosses are in the right places." Copyright AFP 2001

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