London: Australian spin legend Shane Warne has said that England`s chances of winning the Ashes rest on the fitness of star batsman Kevin Pietersen.
Pietersen, who was having net practice at Lord`s and fielding drills with the England coach Andy Flower, has shown signs that he is getting ever closer to playing once again, although his Ashes hopes will remain in the balance until he calls for one of his quick singles.
Stating that England should hope for a quick recovery of Pietersen, Warne expressed his confidence that Australia will definitely win the Ashes if Pietersen did not play, adding that Pietersen is the biggest and the most destructive player of the team, from whom they can feed off.
According to Warne, Pietersen is the type of player that opposition captains are wary off, adding that as captains, although both England`s Alastair Cook and Australia`s Michael Clarke are accomplished batsman, Australia wins hands down when it comes to tactics and imagination.
Praising Clarke as the world`s best captain, Warne, who calls himself as Clarke`s harshest critic, further said that the Oz skipper has the most imagination and flair and is prepared to risk losing to win, adding that it is necessary for the Australian team to have Clarke`s imagination to make up for their lack of quality.
Although he said that Cook had improved and is a good captain, he added that the English skipper does things by the book most of the time instead of using his imagination.
Warne warned England not to get too complacent, saying that even though they are the favourites and have a superior attitude because of their home advantage, they should not take Australia for granted as the Ashes will inspire the Australian players to greater heights.