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Page last updated at 15:40 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 16:40 UK

Aussies have lost aura - Strauss

Third Ashes Test, Edgbaston: England v Australia
Dates: Thursday, 30 July to Monday, 3 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary (from 1025 BST on day one, 1045 BST on remaining days) on BBC Radio 4 LW, 5 Live sports extra, the Red Button and BBC Sport website. Live text commentary on BBC Sport website and mobile phones. Also live on Sky Sports.


Australia have lost their aura - Strauss

England captain Andrew Strauss believes Australia have lost the invincible aura that built up around them as they dominated world cricket for a decade.

England lead the 2009 Ashes series 1-0 going into Thursday's Edgbaston Test - the third of the five-match series.

Strauss believes the retirement of a host of Australian greats has given England a huge psychological boost.

"The aura came from guys like (Shane) Warne, (Glenn) McGrath, (Matthew) Hayden and (Adam) Gilchrist," he said.

"It doesn't mean you are any more likely to beat them or anything like that but it feels like you are playing against any other Test team."

Leg-spinner Warne, fast bowler McGrath and opener Justin Langer retired from Test cricket following Australia's emphatic 5-0 home victory in the 2006-7 series, while wicketkeeper Gilchrist and batsman Hayden ended their playing days last year.

England don't have an aura - Ponting

Their absence has inevitably left a chasm which Australia's new breed of Test cricketers have struggled to fill.

"An aura is when the opposition teams, even though they are on top, are not confident they are going to beat you," said Strauss.

"They always expect something dramatic to happen that will bring your team back in the game and put them under pressure again.

"We certainly felt that in 2006-07. Even when we had good days, we were thinking what is going to happen now? Is Gilchrist going to blast a hundred or Warne take five wickets from nowhere?

"It only comes with a consistent level of performance for a long period of time. Australia had that, personally I don't feel that's where they are right at the moment."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting responded by questioning the legitimacy of Strauss's comments.


"It's OK for him to say that now, I'm not sure if he was saying that after Cardiff," said Ponting, who needs just 25 more runs to surpass Allan Border's mark of 11,174 runs and move up into third place in the all-time list of Test run-scorers.

"I don't see how you can create an aura without winning everything and being on top. It's just impossible to do. England's current Test rating (five) would probably indicate they don't have one.

"We've got some reasonably fresh faces at the moment who are just starting to find their feet at international level.

"I think it's inevitable that the aura of a side is going to change but it also changes with performances as well."

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see also
Jonathan Agnew column
29 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Justin Langer column
29 Jul 09 |  Cricket
Bell to bat at four for England
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Johnson will come good - Haddin
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Ashes memories: Edgbaston
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Johnson toils in Australian win
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Bell will start third Ashes Test
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England without Pietersen
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Bell makes duck as Warwicks draw
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Edgbaston Test pitch like 'jelly'
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Bell can shine in Ashes - Vaughan
22 Jul 09 |  England
Pietersen to miss rest of Ashes
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Flintoff inspires England victory
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England crash to innings defeat
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Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Australia in England 2009
20 Sep 09 |  England

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