Sydney: Sacked Australian coach Mickey Arthur has warned Australia that unless captain Michael Clarke and all-rounder Shane Watson show a `fiery form` then England will win this summer`s Ashes series 2-1.
Although England is the favourite to win a fourth straight Ashes series, but the team has a number of concerns heading into the five-Test bout, including Tim Bresnan`s back issues and the poor form of Chris Tremlett, Steven Finn and Boyd Rankin in the three-day tour match against the WACA Chairman`s XI.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Arthur, who was sensationally sacked on the eve of the last Ashes series, said he feels that England can still have Australia`s measure and retain the urn unless Clarke, Watson and another batsman show a good fightback.
Urging Australia to select ODI captain George Bailey for his Test debut ahead of Shaun Marsh, Ed Cowan, Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja, Arthur also advised the team to probe England skipper Alastair Cook`s opening partner Joe Root and their yet-undecided No.6 in the batting order.
Stating that he has doubts about Root`s technique standing up on the bouncier, quicker wickets of Australia, Arthur further said that Australia can take advantage of the fact that either Jonny Bairstow or newcomer Gary Ballance may bat at No.6 even though neither of them has a proven track record yet.