Ian Botham warns England against tepid performance

London: Former England captain Ian Botham has warned England that their performance in the Old Trafford Test, which although helped them retain the urn, would not be enough for them to win the series.

According to the Mirror, Botham believed that England will have to give a retake in the Durham Test, starting on Friday, and will need to go up a level because Australia jumped about four to give them the hurry-up in Manchester.

Even though the former Test cricketer acknowledged that England deserved all the plaudits coming their way for wining in the first two Tests and retaining the Ashes after the third, he however, said that skipper Alastair Cook will know that the third Test was a tough examination that his team only just passed with the help of the weather.

According to Botham, even though beating Australia at any sport is not easy, it especially takes a special effort to defeat them in their national sport, adding that it has taken a solid effort for England, through all the three Tests, to retain the urn.

Stating that Australia improved substantially in the third Test due to their captain Michael Clarke, and bowlers Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle, Botham further said that England needed to watch out as once Clarke is in form, he usually cashes in like he did at Old Trafford.

Botham also said that Harris and Siddle bowled well in the third Test and backed them to come again in the same form for the Durham Test, adding that he and Australian legend Allan Border agreed that the main threat to England would come from Harris, who is arguably the tourists` best bowler.

Stating that England is in danger if Australia can keep Harris fit for the rest of the series, Botham also said that Cook and Jonathan Trott needed to make big scores, although he was confident that they can do so as they are quality players who do not go hungry for runs for too long.

Botham further said that Australia will feel a little aggrieved that they did not get a full game in when they had played so well at Old Trafford, but added that no can control the weather.


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