Australia lack 'aura' says Strauss

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> England captain Andrew Strauss insisted the present Australia side lacked the &quot;aura&quot; of the one that thrashed his country 5-0 in the 2006/07 Ashes.

Updated: July 29, 2009 14:23 IST
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England captain Andrew Strauss insisted the present Australia side lacked the "aura" of the one that thrashed his country 5-0 in the 2006/07 Ashes.

Back then Australia's team featured such all-time greats as Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Adam Gilchrist, as well as opening batsmen Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer.

But all five players have since retired from Test cricket.

Last week England beat Australia by 115 runs at Lord's to go 1-0 up in the five-match series with three to play.

Strauss, speaking here at Edgbaston, where the third Test starts on Thursday, said playing Ricky Ponting's men now was a much different proposition to what it had been during the recent past.

"I don't think this Australian side has got an aura about it to be honest with you and prior to this Test series starting we didn't feel they had an aura about them," Strauss told reporters here on Wednesday.

"That's not disrespectful to the players they've got because they've got a lot of very good players but I think the aura came with the likes of Warne and McGrath and Hayden and Gilchrist, all those
sort of guys.

"This (Australian) team over time might develop an aura but right at the moment you've got a lot of guys who are at the start of their Test careers. By definition, they don't have an aura about them," Strauss added.

"That's encouraging. 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," the left-handed opening batsman added.

Asked what an "aura" meant in cricket terms, Strauss replied: "An aura is when the opposition teams, even though they are on top, are not confident they are going to beat you.

"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 large 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."

But with England having lost to a weak West Indies side in the Caribbean earlier this year, Strauss said his team too were some way from having an "aura" about them.

"Given time and given more victories we might start getting a bit of an aura about us but at this stage we are not far enough down that road."

Australia have also been under pressure from their own officials and fans to improve player behaviour but Strauss said past incidents of verbal abuse or "sledging" by Aussie cricketers had been massively overplayed.

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