Aussies too old, according to Beefy
Ian Botham has had a crack at Australia’s ageing team and he feels the home side may crack and a few players may struggle to last till the end of the summer.
The champion English all rounder labelled the Aussies “Dad’s Army” in Britain’s News of the World after the famous British comedy series set during World War II.
When referring to the team as “Dad’s Army” he highlighted Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer as the elders in the team that must try and survive the summer.
"The Aussies are a year and a half older than when the teams clashed last time and they were creaking then - especially in the bowling department," he said.
"If they go into a Test with Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer, Stuart MacGill and Damien Martyn, the Aussies will have seven players aged 35 and over.
"I can't imagine there has ever been a team that old in international cricket. The Aussies are a chance in the first test on the 23rd of November of going into the game with the oldest test side in 80 years, prompting Bothams attack.
"True, age doesn't necessarily mean you're no good.
"Warnie took 40 wickets last time and still finished on the losing side.
"There are some great cricketers in that list, but when Father Time starts to call, it can all fall apart very quickly."
Botham also called on England captain Andrew Flintoff to launch verbal hand grenades at the Australians.
"This bunch, led then by Michael Vaughan and now by Freddie Flintoff, are not scarred by Ashes failure," Botham said.
"That's why I want to hear the England camp talking more positively.
"I want to hear them saying how good they are and how p--- poor the Dad's Army of Aussies are.
"If they allow the Aussies any psychological advantage, they might as well come home.
"I am fed up hearing things like 'if we are right' and 'if we have a little bit of luck'. That's bulls--t.
"Lads, the Aussies are more than a year older than the team you beat last time. Start believing in yourselves."
In selection news and young Australian and Queensland pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has continued to press his claims at selection after taking 4-56 against Western Australia at the WACA yesterday. He took the big scalps of both Damien Martyn and Michael Hussey, in front of national selector Andrew Hilditch.
Shane Watson has come out and declared himself ready for Ashes selection and is poised to win back the no. 6 spot in the Aussie ashes side.
"All I've ever tried to do is be the best cricketer I can possibly be,” said Watson.
"All that matters to me now are the opinions of the people around me, my family, my friends and the people I play with.
"The outside influences don't worry me the way they used to."
"I am ready for Test cricket ... I know I've definitely improved as an all-round package," Watson said.
"There are a number of things, especially with my batting, that have improved dramatically.
"Looking back now it's hard to know whether I was really ready the last time I played Test cricket."
The Australian selectors will answer all these selection dilemmas when the team is announced this Thursday afternoon at the MCG.
Who will be the final seamer? Clark? Johnson? Tait? Bracken? And, who will hold down the number six spot? Watson? Clarke? Symonds?
Whoever it is we will have the team right here for you on SportsAustralia.com as we continue our ashes countdown with just 10 days to go until that first ball at the Gabba.
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