Former Aussie captain and now commentator and critic, Ian Chappell has
slammed the Australian selectors for dishing out a nonsense team for the Ashes.
He has gone on to tip England as favourites for the series given a stronger bowling
attack that they possess.
Chappell also said a lot would depend on the fitness of Andrew Flintoff
but if he could remain fit for all the five games of the series, then the hosts
will be favourites to win the series.
Chappell's issues with the team stem from the absence of any back-up opener
in the squad, which means that the Aussies will need to rely on the duo of Phillip
Hughes and Simon Katich to do the job. However, Hughes has had early
problems on the tour with his technique and hence his form under conditions
which have offered a little bit of swing and bounce for the pace bowlers.
Hughes has played only three test matches and a handful of first class games.
Writing for a cricket website, Chappell said, "There seems to be this widespread
feeling that Hughes is fine, he's going to be a star. Well, he's only played
three Tests. He's got a very unorthodox technique that could come unglued at
He also added that it will be a mistake to play no spinners in the game as
this will affect the balance of the team. His concern was that part-time spinners,
according to him, may not be able to do the job, as could be the case for the
first test match where Australia may look to Michael Clarke, Katich and
Marcus North to deliver in place of Hauritz.
He said, "You shouldn't win Test matches against decent cricket teams
relying on part-time spinners. The selectors have made an absolute nonsense
of what they've done with spinners." Chappell also reminded the team of
what happened in India when the part-timers had been expected to do the job
Former English captain, Tony Greig, also concurred with Chappell as he said
that England looks marginal favourites to clinch the series, but a lot
will depend on the first test match. Speaking to a cricket website, he said,
"I'd go for England, but only by a whisker. There's always so much tension
around the first Ashes Test so temperament could play a very important part."
Greig also said that he wasn't sure whether the Aussie batsmen will be able
to handle the swing in the English conditions.