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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 August 2005, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Aussies clinging on, says Benaud
Richie Benaud
It will be fitting if we can finish this great series with a result
Richie Benaud
Veteran commentator Richie Benaud admits Australia have been totally outplayed in the last three absorbing Ashes Test matches against England.

Given England's form, Benaud is surprised his countrymen still have a chance of hanging on to the famous urn.

He told the BBC: "The astonishing thing is that if they win at The Oval, Australia will retain the Ashes.

"England were by far the better side at Edgbaston and Old Trafford - and then again at Trent Bridge."

Benaud, who will commentate on his last match in England during the fifth Test at The Oval, says he believes the current series is even better than the one he commentated on in 1981.

The Aussies scraped a last-ditch draw at Old Trafford, where the weather played a part, but were beaten narrowly at Edgbaston and again at Trent Bridge last week, giving the hosts a 2-1 advantage.

The series began with a landslide Lord's win for the tourists.

Many England fans would give up their eye teeth for a draw at The Oval, but Benaud sees it very differently.

"What I really hope is that someone wins at The Oval," he said as he prepares to end a 40-year stretch commentating on England's home series.

"I want to see either England or Australia win the match. It will be fitting if we can finish this great series with a result."

One thing he is convinced of is that - whatever happens at The Oval - Australia will soon be back to their best.

"England are certainly on the up, and the Australia selectors have some work to do," he said.

"But in Australia there are plenty of good young players around. If Australia are beaten this time they will fight back very quickly."

Interview: Commentator Richie Benaud

Richie's final delivery
01 Sep 05 |  Cricket


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