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Ashes series: Michael Vaughan criticises Aussie attack

Michael Vaughan
Vaughan's Ashes series win was England's first since 1987

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes Australia's bowlers lack the "X factor" of previous sides' attacks.

Australia meet England in the first Test in Brisbane on 25 November, but Vaughan claims a lack of firepower may hamper their attempt to regain the urn.

"It's harder being a captain when you don't have the ammunition in your bowling attack," he said.

"If they got 300 a few years ago, they knew that Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath would get them back in the game."

Australia's current run of three successive Test defeats is their worst since 1989 and captain Ricky Ponting has seen his side fail to take 20 wickets in each of those losses.


The failure of Ponting's bowlers will increase the burden on his batsmen according to Vaughan.

"He doesn't have the 'X factor' bowlers who can change games," he said.

"That puts your batsmen under a lot more pressure because they know that you have to get lots more runs to give your bowlers something to bowl at."

Vaughan led England to victory in the 2005 Ashes, but under Andrew Flintoff's captaincy the team suffered a 5-0 whitewash down under in the 2006-2007 series.

Australian bowlers Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne both retired after helping their side regain the Ashes in emphatic style.

Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne
McGrath and Warne depart the field during 2007's final Ashes Test

The pair's importance to Australia was even more obvious in defeat in 2005, when Warne took a total of 40 wickets and a training injury to McGrath before the second Test was highlighted as a major factor in the outcome out the series.

The lack of similar potency amongst the current crop of Australian bowlers - including Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson, Doug Bollinger and spinner Nathan Hauritz - has strengthened English hopes of a first series win down under since 1987.

Vaughan believes such a defeat would make under-pressure Ponting's position as captain untenable.

"If he loses the series he will go," said Vaughan.

"He has lost the Ashes twice and hasn't won an Ashes in England either.

"Obviously he won the 2006-2007 Ashes 5-0 but he had a better team to manage those days.

"England can win it. The likes of Graeme Swann, Kevin Pietersen, Stuart Broad and Andrew Strauss are real match-winners and we therefore have a great chance."

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see also
Strauss predicts success in Ashes
28 Oct 10 |  England
England arrive for Ashes defence
30 Oct 10 |  England
Victorious England regain Ashes
23 Aug 09 |  England
Sorry England start Ashes inquest
05 Jan 07 |  England
Departing Warne hails Aussie side
05 Jan 07 |  England
Aussies complete Ashes whitewash
05 Jan 07 |  England
Ashes history - England's summer
30 Oct 06 |  England
Triumphant England reclaim Ashes
12 Sep 05 |  England

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