Boxing Day Test best chance for England to retain Ashes urn

Last Updated: Dec 24, 2010, 15:52 PM IST

London: The Andrew Strauss-led England team can secure the Ashes in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, according to former captain Michael Vaughan.

“England may find it has to win in Melbourne this week to secure the Ashes because the pitch at Sydney may well turn out to be faster and bouncier than is usually the case. But this is a great chance for England to get its nose in front and ensure it can retain the urn,” Vaughan wrote in an article for the Telegraph.

“Forget the nonsense about doctoring pitches. Melbourne is the venue that may well suit England’s style of play with the pitch likely to bring Graeme Swann into the game later on,” he added.

Vaughan also believes that the visitors must dismiss Australian middle-order batsman Mike Hussey early to get the momentum.

“England also has to work on a way of knocking over Mike Hussey. Forget this short stuff. He loves that and murders it. The best way to get Hussey out is by bowling as full as possible on or around off stump,” Vaughan wrote.

“It is basic and I would not try anything too clever. Have three slips and a gully to start with and open up extra cover to tempt him to drive through the gap. He waits for easy runs off the hip so give him nothing. With these guys there is not a huge margin for error so you have to bore him out,” he added.

Hussey has scored 517 runs at an average of 103 in the series so far, which includes his career best 195 in the opening Test at the Gabba.

The 35-year-old has also become the first batsman to record six successive Ashes fifties.

ANI