Perth: Victoria and Australian all-rounder Cameron White has predicted there will be plenty of niggle in the five-Test Ashes series after England captain Andrew Strauss declared war in an understated way.
Strauss set the tone by ordering his troops not to be too friendly with the Australians, saying: “until the end of that fifth Test, we have two sides at war with each other”.
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted White, a key one-day player who has played four Tests, as saying: “Can’t see it (the Ashes) being too friendly I think.”
“There’s always the rivalry there. No doubt, it will be played in the right spirit but it will be played hard. There will be a bit of niggle along the way but nothing too exciting,” he added.
“There’s no doubt there’s a fair bit of talk about the Ashes, but not probably from inside the team at the moment,” White said.
“I think any game you get to play for Australia is an important one and there’s no doubt this is a pretty young Twenty20 side and everyone that’s been given the opportunity to play will be trying their best.”
White also said Australia would be on guard against a talented Sri Lanka.
He described batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene as class players, while Tillakaratne Dilshan was deemed a dangerous player at the top of the order.
“It will be interesting to see what combination they play, because traditionally it doesn’t spin a hell of a lot here (in Perth),” said White.
Sri Lanka vice-captain Mahela Jayawardene said the absence of Australian pace ace Shaun Tait through injury meant his team had less to worry about.