Strauss warns England not to take Oz lightly in Ashes

Sydney, Apr 18 (ANI): Former England captain Andrew Strauss has warned England that Australia will defy their critics by putting up a strong battling front in the upcoming back-to-back Ashes series.

Although he is confident that England can claim a third successive title on home soil in the July-August series, Strauss said that the claims of his country whitewashing the five-Test series is far-fetched and warned the hosts not to take Australia for granted, News.com.au reports.

Strauss, who captained England's past two Ashes wins and played in another, said that the series will not be so clear-cut as predicted by many experts and critics, adding that Australia is better than the credit given to them at the moment.

According to the former England skipper, although Australia lost heavily in India in the recent Test series, they had a successful summer back home which makes them a threat to England at the Ashes.

Strauss further said that Australia has a strong leadership from captain Michael Clarke, and coupled with good bowling attack and players, they will give a strong opposition to England in the series.

Although Strauss credited England with having home advantage during the Ashes, he pointed out that England had hardly set the world on fire in battling to a 0-0 draw in their recent three Test series in New Zealand.

However, Strauss said that Australia will need more than a firing Michael Clarke to be competitive, adding that some of the other batsmen, specially the younger ones, are going to have to stand up and deliver.

Strauss, who quit cricket last year following a 100-Test career, will compete in Sundays' London Marathon with his Australian wife Ruth and is will join the Sky commentary team during the Ashes, the report added. (ANI)