Former Australian legspinner Shane Warne has put his money on Australia winning the five-match ODI series against England starting June 29.
Writing in the Telegraph, Warne felt that England have an air of superiority around themselves given their present form and robust record in ODIs at home in the past one year, but that Australia will give them a good run for their money.
"We know the public line from the England camp will be, “We won’t take Australia for granted”, but deep down there will be a feeling of superiority but I believe this Australian team will give England something to think about before the Ashes next summer in England," wrote the 42-year-old.
According to Warne, Australia have finally got their bowling combination right and they have bowlers in their ranks who are very competent. "They have finally got a bowling attack in good shape with imagination, variety and flair. James Pattinson and Pat Cummins are two young, super-exciting fast bowlers who bowl 90 mph plus, and swing the ball. Both are very aggressive and always looking to take wickets. Ben Hilfenhaus has improved immensely since the last Ashes series. He has also picked up a yard of pace again and is swinging the ball late,” he wrote.
Warne also felt Australian's batting would stand them in good stead in England. "The batting is strong, starting with the aggressive David Warner and Shane Watson at the top. George Bailey or Peter Forrest will bat at three, Clarke at four and David Hussey, who is a proven super limited-overs batsman, at five. Matthew Wade, the new keeper, is like Adam Gilchrist. He whacks it."
Warne, who bamboozled England batsmen through out his cricket career, observed that England's batting order was decent but not threatening to the bowlers, though he did single out Ian Bell as the danger man for Australia. "Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook are good players but they will not hurt you. England’s middle order of Ravi Bopara, Craig Keiswetter, Tim Bresnan and the tail. You don’t look down the batting line-up and wonder how you are going to get them out. I don’t really see a match-winner in the team in the absence of Kevin Pietersen. The danger man at the top is ‘the Sherminator’, Ian Bell."
Terming England's approach in ODIs as 'conservative', Warne added that he could not see England piling up massive scores. "England are quite conservative in the one-day arena and I think with their batting line-up your target will always be between 250-270. I can’t see England blowing you out of the water and making 330 or more without KP, but I could see them bowled out for 180-200," he concluded.