Warne’s tips for Strauss and Co to win Ashes

London: England will have to be ruthless in their approach, avoid verbal volleys and let Kevin Pietersen play his natural game if they are to win Ashes series, feels Australian spin legend Shane Warne.

In a long list of tips to the England team, the former Australian leg-spinner also advised the team to not underestimate Australia because of their recent poor run.

Warne also felt that Andrew Strauss should employ spinner Greame Swann more into attack and early on apart from suggesting that their fast bowlers should rely on full length deliveries than short-pitched stuff.

“It will be very difficult for England to win in Australia. It has not happened for such a long time and people forget they are coming off the back of a 5-0 embarrassment here four years ago.

“But before a ball is bowled, this is England’s best chance of winning in Australia for a generation if they follow simple rules when they arrive in Australia.

“They have to be ruthless, disciplined and play with flair. They must also not get involved in the war of words,” Warne wrote in his ‘Daily Telegraph’ column.

Warne said Pietersen and Swann are key to England’s success.

“If England are to be successful, then two men have to perform. The first is Kevin Pietersen. He is the best match-winner in world cricket and can turn the course of the game in a session. I do not agree with John Buchanan’s view that he is selfish. I have worked with KP and seen him operate....... He is forensic in the way he prepares both physically and mentally so just let him go. The more you cage him and encroach on his preparation time then the less he will perform for you,” he wrote.

“If England give him room to breathe and the leadership of the England team make him feel super-important then he could really hurt Australia. He can be the man who gives England a chance to win. If they give him a free reign then he could have a 500-run-plus series,” he added.

About Swann he wrote,” Swann has an air of confidence about him that can worry the opposition. He is spinning the ball profusely for an off-spinner and he will really enjoy using the Kookaburra ball too.... If I was Andrew Strauss I would give him a go early. Don’t wait for all the seamers to bowl and then bring on Swann. Let the opposition know he is the trump card, so once the swing starts to wear off after 10 overs he should be first change,” he wrote.

The Ashes series begins in Brisbane from November 25.


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