Former England Test captain Sir Ian Botham has backed Ashes heroes England to win 5-0 in the return series in Australia as he believes that England has the players to win again, especially a match-winning bowling attack.
According to the Mirror, Botham stated that England won a moral victory at The Oval if not an actual one and fulfilled his expectations of being the better team throughout this summer's Ashes series.
Expecting England to have a far better chance of winning the return Ashes series than their arch rivals, Botham said that England is well-drilled, ruthless, knows how to win and did their needful on the final day of the last Test, adding that he expects 'quiet' players like captain Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott to fire again in Australia.
According to Botham, England has quality players like James Anderson, Graeme Swann, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen, adding that despite not having Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn or Chris Tremlett in the squad for the final Test, England still managed to save face and score a draw.
However, Botham warned that Australia would be harder to beat in the return series because they would have learnt a lot about themselves during the England tour, adding that players like Chris Rogers, Steve Smith and all-rounder Shane Watson will be happier at home and finally blossom into the cricketers they deserve to be.
Fans should get ticket refunds
Meanwhile, former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that fans who have bough tickets for the upcoming one-day international series against Australia deserve a refund as England has left most of the Ashes heroes out of the squad.
According to Sport24, captain Alastair Cook, Stuart Broad, Ian Bell, James Anderson and Graeme Swann, who all featured in the recent 3-0 Ashes series win over the tourists, were all left out of the squads for the one-dayer against Ireland and the five-match ODI campaign against Australia.
Similarly, the report said that only seven of Australia's 18-man ODI squad played in the just concluded iconic series, adding that it is clear that both countries are already looking ahead to the return Ashes series in Australia in November.
Even though star batsman Kevin Pietersen, along with fellow Ashes-winning batsmen Joe Root and Jonathan Trott, have been included in the squad for the Australia series, Vaughan expressed his dissatisfaction with the selection and said on Twitter that only Cook should have been rested and the rest of the players should have been played.
Stating that fans should get a refund for their tickets as they have paid good money to watch their heroes, Vaughan also said it is not the thing to sell tickets and then rest five Ashes stars from the ODI series, adding that there is plenty of time for the players to get rest from Sept 16th - Nov 21st.
According to the report, former Ireland international Eoin Morgan will captain the side in the absence of Cook and Broad, with the squad including five uncapped players in pacemen Chris Jordan and Jamie Overton as well as Morgan's fellow ex-Ireland star Boyd Rankin.
England and Australia will next meet in a separate two-match Twenty20 series, where the hosts will be captained by Broad and Australia by George Bailey, in fixtures at Southampton and Durham on Thursday and Saturday respectively, the report added.