Don~~t be bullied by Aussie reputations: Strauss

Published: Monday, November 6, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Vice-captain Andrew Strauss has urged his England teammates to fight "fire with fire" and not be bullied by the reputation of Australia's senior cricketers in this month's Ashes Test series.

The England tourists have arrived in Australia and will have their first serious session in the nets on Tuesday ahead of Friday's tour opener against a Prime Minister's XI in Canberra.

Strauss has implored his team to play Australia's most two experienced bowlers on merit and not reputation.

"It's easy to get lured into thinking that every ball from (Shane) Warne or (Glenn) McGrath is going to be an unplayable delivery, and that's a trap we must try to avoid," Strauss told Monday's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"One of the plus points of our performances against Australia last year was we did play the ball rather than the bowler, which is going to be important again this winter.

"If our batsmen learned one salutary lesson last year, it was that the only way to play the Aussies is to take them on.

"When you try to hang around or you are content just to occupy the crease and survive, you are liable to come unstuck because they just swarm all over you.

"But if you answer fire with fire - and pick the right balls to go after -- it is possible to live with them as (injured captain) Michael Vaughan showed on the last Ashes tour."

The opening Test in the five-match series gets underway at Brisbane's Gabba ground on Nov 23.


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