England can win Down Under, but it will be damnably difficult
Noted cricket commentator Peter Roebuck has said that the Andrew Strauss-led England team can win the Ashes Down Under, but it would be damnably difficult.
"Can Andrew Strauss succeed where so many England captains have failed? Can he bring a team to Australia, arrive without a great fast bowler, face the might of the home nation and go back with the spoils?" Roebuck asked in his syndicated column for the Sydney Morning Herald.
"Since the First World War, 25 England captains have toured this country and only six have gone home victorious. Among them, only Percy Chapman was in the same position as the current leader. Better than anything else that sums up the size of the task. These results confirm that it is possible to win Down Under and also that it is damnably difficult," he added.
Roebuck further believes that Strauss` task is harder because he does not have a withering fast bowler at his disposal as Chapman had in Jack White.
"Percy Chapman alone has completed the challenge facing Strauss. In 1928-29, he came to Australia holding the Ashes, took on the might of Australia and went home covered in glory," Roebuck wrote.
"England`s bowling lay in the hands of Jack White, a relentless left-arm tweaker with a reputation for lifting the seam. Upon returning to England, White was met at the train station by a vast throng, ropes were attached to his car and he was pulled the five miles to his farm," he added.
Roebuck highlighted that Chapman`s side romped to victory, and insisted that Strauss must follow in his footsteps.
"If he does, England will sing his praises and the Australians will lick their wounds and begin the search for fresh blood," he said.