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Friday's Ashes gossip column - Australia v England

Graeme Swann and Andrew Strauss on the MCG pitch
Graeme Swann and Andrew Strauss get to grips with the MCG strip

Leg-spin great Shane Warne believes Australia will take a 2-1 lead going into the final Test in Sydney in the new year. "Australia will win here [the fourth Test in Melbourne] because they have all the momentum after their win in Perth," he said in his column.
Full story: Telegraph

Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes Australia would be taking a huge risk if they eschew a specialist spinner and play a four-man pace attack in Melbourne. "The MCG 's drop-in pitches can go low and slow as the game develops," he said.
Full story: Daily Mail

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher says fast bowler Steven Finn should not be dropped just because he is conceding more runs than any other bowler. "It may cost you 30 or so runs an innings, but as long as Finn is getting wickets - and he has been getting key ones at crucial times - England should not mind paying that price," said the Zimbabwean.
Full story: Guardian

The Sydney Morning Herald says Australia captain Ricky Ponting "faces the most important net session of his career" on Friday as he "attempts to prove his fitness for a potentially career-defining Boxing Day Test".
Full story: Sydney Morning Herald

Meanwhile, England's Kevin Pietersen has hit the streets of Melbourne to stock up on his last-minute Christmas presents. "Come on Melbourne! Don't disappoint," he tweets.
Full story: Twitter



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see also
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
22 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tuesday's Ashes gossip column
21 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Monday's Ashes gossip column
20 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
19 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Saturday's Ashes gossip column
18 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Friday's Ashes gossip column
17 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Thursday's Ashes gossip column
16 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Wednesday's Ashes gossip column
15 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Tuesday's Ashes gossip column
14 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Monday's Ashes gossip column
13 Dec 10 |  Cricket
Sunday's Ashes gossip column
12 Dec 10 |  Cricket
England in Australia 2010-11
08 Oct 09 |  Cricket


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