Aussies have the edge to win back Ashes: Waugh

Published: Monday, May 1, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:After the Shane Warne taunt that England lack the credentials to retain the Ashes, it is now the turn of former captain Steve Waugh to deliver a damning verdict saying Australia are ready to win back the famous urn as the Poms have lost focus and cannot cope without their injured stars.

''England had got carried away with its Ashes success and went backwards on tours of the sub-continent, where it lost the Test series against Pakistan (2-0) and escaped with a 1-1 draw against India,'' Waugh said in London where he is promoting his autobiography 'Out of My Comfort Zone'.

'' England players' profiles increased and, with the euphoria that went with success, they found it difficult,'' the Aussie great said.

Waugh said England captain Michael Vaughan's knee injury, which could rule him out of the first Test against Sri Lanka from May 11, highlights a key weakness.

''England's strength in depth isn't as deep as Australia's and you need good back-up.'' ''Andrew Flintoff did very well as stand-in captain, but I don't know whether it's a long-term option as it would be too great a workload for him as to bat and bowl as well,'' the 40-year-old former skipper said.

Waugh also said England could not be considered a serious contender for the 2007 World Cup in West Indies after losing one-day series in Pakistan and India

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