Australia not match-hardened for Ashes: Waugh

Updated: 12 March 2010 07:29 IST

Steve Waugh has warned that Australia are not match-hardened heading into Ashes series because of a lack of competition from rival teams, reports said.

Sydney:

Former skipper Steve Waugh has warned that Australia are not match-hardened heading into this year's home Ashes series because of a lack of competition from rival teams, reports said on Friday.

Waugh said Ricky Ponting's team would be competitive when the first Test starts in November but stopped short of predicting a result similar to the 5-0 whitewash against England here in 2006-07.

"The team has played well over the past 12 months, but the big issue is the quality of that opposition," Waugh told The Australian newspaper.

"Pakistan and West Indies, you would hardly call them good Test teams.

"We haven't played as much tough cricket as we need.

"There is a lot of experience and depth, we will be very competitive, it will be a close competition."

Pakistan are ranked seventh and the West Indies eighth in the ICC Test rankings behind third-placed Australia, who play sixth-ranked New Zealand in two Tests later this month.

Australia defeated the West Indies 2-0 and Pakistan 3-0 in home Test series during the last summer season, rated by commentators as the dullest for some time.

England, number five in the rankings, hold the Ashes after Andrew Strauss's team beat Australia 2-1 at home last year.

The opening 2010-11 Ashes Test gets underway at Brisbane's Gabba ground on November 25.

Topics : Cricket Sreesanth
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