ENGLAND are set to whitewash Australia in this summer’s Ashes series, former all-rounder Ian Botham boldly predicted yesterday.
On the back of England's 48-run win over Australia in the ICC Champions Trophy on Saturday, Botham said England are also “far superior, far better” than the tourists at the Test game.
“We would beat Australia if we played them on Mars at the moment,” he said.
“We have won the last two Ashes encounters and I expect them [England] to win in style over here and then in style in Australia from November onwards.”
The former England star, whose heroics in 1981 saw that series dubbed Botham's Ashes, said Alastair Cook’s team could record an historic 10-0 victory over the coming two series against Australia.
After this summer’s Ashes, England travel to the southern hemisphere where they begin yet another Ashes series in Brisbane in late November.
“England outgun Australia in all departments, that is why they will win,” added Botham, who is famously bullish for his comments on the game.
Australia’s difficulties heading into the two series were mentioned by another retired cricketer, former Australian batsman Michael Slater, yesterday.
“We’re not very confident running into the Ashes series,” Slater said, suggesting that legendary batsman Ricky Ponting could be recalled to the side.
“If they said ‘we are desperate Ricky, we want you’, I’m sure he would put his hand up,” Slater said.
Ponting, who scored 192 runs on his recent debut for Surrey in the County Championship’s top division, is the world’s second highest Test run scorer of all time.
Australia’s current captain and star batsman, Michael Clarke, is currently struggling with a back injury and could miss the whole of the Champions Trophy.