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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 09:24 GMT
England lack intensity - Cooley
Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley and bowler Brett Lee
I've seen the drive and total focus Australia bring to what they do

Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley (left)
Australia bowling coach Troy Cooley says England have failed to match their opponents' level of intensity during their unsuccessful Ashes defence.

Cooley, who coached England's bowlers to great effect in the 2005 series, says he has observed a noticeable deterioration in the team's displays.

"There's a different feel about them," Cooley told the Mail on Sunday.

"There's obviously been changes to the side but they also haven't played at the intensity they have in the past."

England trail Australia 4-0 going into the final Test in Sydney, and face the ignominy of becoming the first England side to suffer an Ashes whitewash since the 1920-21 series.

And Cooley suggested England's levels of dedication compared unfavourably with those of Australia.

"I've worked with Australia for the past eight months and have seen the drive and total focus they bring to what they do," said Cooley.

"As a coach you get caught up in that and I've been very pleased to see what they have achieved and been part of it.

For England to pick players without any recent form surprised me

Troy Cooley

"On the other hand, I was with England for a long time and I know there are a few disappointed players in their side."

Cooley, who left his job with England at the end of 2005 before taking up a similar role with Australia in May 2006, also questioned the tourists' selection policy.

England opted to stick with the bulk of the side which famously recaptured the Ashes in 2005.

606 DEBATE: Give your thoughts on this story

But the inclusion of players such as Ashley Giles, who had missed more than a year of Test cricket because of injury, came as a shock to Cooley.

"I heard some comments from (England coach) Duncan Fletcher about trying to recapture the winning feeling from 2005," he said.

"If it were up to me I would rather select the best players you have at the time, then build it up from there.

"That is one of the great things about Australian cricket, they pick the best players available and build a strategy around them.

"England had found some good replacements for the players they lost through injury, so to turn that around and pick players without any recent form surprised me."

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