Botham admitted his forecast was partly to annoy Australia but insisted their injury-hit attack left them susceptible to a 5-0 drubbing.
Former Australia bowler Brad Hogg hit back yesterday and insisted the manner of England’s 3-1 victory during the summer pointed to a close series.
“I have a lot of respect for Sir Ian Botham, he was a wonderful player and played a few more Tests than me, but I think he was waffling on a bit there,” he said.
“It’s going to be a lot closer than everyone thinks. If you look at the last series, there was only one Test match where England really got away from us and that was at Lord’s.
“Other than that, Australia were in all four Test matches and would have won one of them if it wasn’t for the weather.”