Cricket: Ahmed Ashes boost for Australia

03/07/2013 no comments »
Cricket: Ahmed Ashes boost for Australia

Last month’s sacking of Coach Mickey Arthur was surprising as the Ashes were only sixteen days away at the time, but this could work in Australia’s favour as his replacement Darren Lehmann could be more popular with the players, and because he has played for Australia would perhaps command more respect thus galvanising the squad in the process.

Another boost for the Australians coming into the Ashes is Pakistan born spin bowler Fawad Ahmed has been granted Australian citizenship, so is able to take part in the series. The spin bowling department has been an area of concern for Australia since the retirement of the legendary Shane Warne, so Ahmed’s eligibility is a big boost.

Fawad Ahmed came to the Australian selector’s attention during games for the Victoria Bushrangers in the Sheffield Shield, and Melbourne Renegades in the ‘Big Bash’, which is Australia’s twenty over Cricket competition. His bid to play for Australia was endorsed by his Captain at Victoria, Cameron White, who stated he is good enough to play international Cricket for Australia.

One other positive for Australia is the return to fitness of inspirational Captain Michael Clarke as his participation in the warm up match against Somerset recently was great to see for whole of Australia. The six wicket victory over Somerset showed that this team will be worthy opponents for England, as their seam bowing attack of Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Peter Siddle could prove problematic for the English batsman, so it would be foolish to write Australia off in this series.

Shane Watson’s combined score of one hundred and thirty six in both his innings against Somerset were impressive, and is another sign of the tourists becoming more confident under new Coach Darren Lehmann, so the forthcoming Ashes will be hugely fascinating to watch.

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