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  Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
Australia brimming with confidence
Michael Bevan
Border hopes the person who hit Bevan will be heavily fined
BBC Sport Online columnist Allan Border looks back on Australia's victory in the NatWest Series and assesses their chances for the Ashes.

I think Australia once again proved in the NatWest series that they really are a formidable one-day side.

They were impressive throughout the tournament and the final at Lords was no exception.

It was a tremendous game to watch and despite the relatively easy victory for Australia the cricket played was fantastic.

That is the sort of cricket team that the Pakistani's are though, they can be absolutely brilliant one day and terrible the next, whereas the Australians are always pretty consistent.

Obviously it helps the Australian side that they have a lot of talented cricketers there.

Justin Langer
Langer will return to the Australian squad
That is what wins matches for them, not only are they well drilled but they have match winners in key positions, that makes them very hard to beat.

The team were delighted to win the series but they, like me, were disappointed that it was marred by further crowd problems.

It's like Steve Waugh said after the match: 'What is it going to take for authorites to really clamp down on this?'.

We have very strict penalties in Australia for people who invade the pitch, they get a prosecution and heavy fines and that acts as a heavy deterant.

I think that the England authorites have to look at something similar.

I'm pretty relaxed about people coming onto the pitch later and milling around - that's a tradition of cricket but it's the lunatics who race onto the field trying to pinch stumps that are the problem, that is when people are going to get hurt.

What happened at the ceremony after the final was totally uncalled for. I hope they got the right bloke and I hope he gets a severe prosecution, that is one way to deter others from doing the same.

There are a lot of ideas to discuss and it is also important that we don't get away from the traditional values of the game.

But it is just something that we don't want in cricket, if you want to do such things go and support something else.

Obvisouly the Australian camp are still very angry about the incident but they are now trying to put it behind them and focus on the Ashes.

Nasser Hussain
Hussian's return will make a difference for England
That is a totally different prospect of course.

For the first time in a long time you sense that England have a chance because their recent performances have been very encouraging.

There are a number of experienced personnel coming back in, like Nasser Hussain, Mike Atherton and Graeme Thorpe and these guys have been performing quite brilliantly over the last 18 months for England.

They've won four series and tied one against Pakistan - those are encouraging signs for England.

Australia too have several changes to make as well and the new boys may take a little while to find their feet.

But the talk in the dressing room after winning the NatWest series was very positive and they are looking forward to the Ashes.

I think it's going to be a great series.

Obviously I'm a bit biased but I think if Australia play anywhere near their best they will be too good for England over five games.

Former Australian captain Allan Border will be providing his Australian perspective to BBC Sport Online for the Ashes.

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