England great Michael Vaughan has turned up the heat on Australia ahead of what looms as a spicy Ashes series.
England great Michael Vaughan has turned up the heat on Australia ahead of what looms as a spicy Ashes series this year.
Australia will almost certainly start as warm favourites on home soil but the preview plot took a massive twist after England smashed India by 227 runs in Chennai.
It was a huge upset given that a severely understrength India stunned Australia in its own backyard in the Border-Gavaskar series last month.
“I now have that feeling about this Test team because they have just taken on a high quality India team in their own backyard and battered them,” former England captain Vaughan said in his latest column for The Telegraph.
“Not just beaten them, battered them.
“I really believe in this Test team now.
“I know speaking to people in Australia that they have realised if they don’t get their house in order then England will surprise them later this year.
“It is certainly not going to be five or four nil like the last couple of series in Australia.
“It can’t be with the way England are playing.
“It is hard to see anything going disastrously wrong for them between now and the Ashes series.”
Time will tell as to whether or not these words come back to bite Vaughan.
But there can be no doubt as to the reason for England’s optimistic mood.
After a quiet couple of years by his own high standards, captain Joe Root is now back in imperious form with the bat.
In his 100th Test, Root continued a scorching streak by scoring 218 in a batting masterclass.
“Joe led them very well,” Vaughan said.
“His was an exceptional innings.
“He is very disciplined, very driven and his bowling changes and tactical awareness of which bowlers to bowl to each batsman was great.
“Strategically he is very bright.
“He has a great bowler in James Anderson and a varied attack with the two spinners plus Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes.
“But it is about bowling them at the right time and that is what he did this week.
“I made it a 10 out of 10 captaincy performance.”