Ashes: Bullish Botham expects Aussie annihilation

Sir Ian Botham

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Former England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham believes England can record whitewash series wins in their upcoming Ashes campaigns.

England managed to come out on top in the first encounter between these two great rivals in the ICC Champions Trophy last week, in what is the first of an astonishing 26 meetings between the teams before the end of January next year.

Having drawn first blood against the Aussies, England will be confident of further success against the Baggy Greens in what is a massive year of cricket for head coach Andy Flower and his men.

With skipper Michael Clarke out injured and the side still trying to find long-term replacements for the likes of Shane Warne, Ricky Ponting, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath, many expect Australia to struggle this summer.

None more so than Botham, who believes there is no reason why England can’t secure whitewash series wins both on home soil and Down Under in the coming months.

He told the Sunday Times: “Given that we’ve got back-to-back Ashes series between now and January, if we get a good summer – and you rarely lose too many days to rain in Australia – make that 10-0.

“I’m serious. Why not? I think we’re that much better. All it needs is the players to believe they can do it.”

He added: “And if Michael Clarke continues to struggle with his back, then yes, 5-0 is definitely on the cards.”

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