Strauss: We are not scared of the Aussies

ENGLAND captain Andrew Strauss has started the mind games ahead of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston this morning by insisting Australia have lost their &ldquo;aura&rdquo; from recent dominant teams.<br /><br />Strauss told a packed press conference that the Aussies are no longer the intimidating force they were since the retirement of a number of key players and that their inexperienced look makes them like &ldquo;any other Test side&rdquo;.<br /><br />Despite the loss of Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath among others, the Australians remain the world&rsquo;s top-ranked Test side, but after leading his side to victory in the second Test at Lord&rsquo;s last week to open up a 1-0 series lead, Strauss admits the tourists have lost their fear factor.<br /><br />&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t think this Australian side has got an aura about them to be honest, prior to this Test series starting we didn&rsquo;t feel they had an aura about them,&rdquo; the Middlesex opener said.<br /><br />&ldquo;That&rsquo;s not disrespectful to the players they have got because they have got a lot of very good players but I think the aura came with the likes of Warne and McGrath, Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist &ndash; all those sort of guys. This team over time might develop an aura but right now you have a lot of guys at the start of their Test careers and by very definition they don&rsquo;t have an aura about them. It doesn&rsquo;t mean you are going to beat them or anything like that but it just feels like you are playing against any other Test team.&rdquo;<br /><br />Victory at Edgbaston means England can not lose the series and Strauss is under no illusions as to the importance of earning a positive result on a ground where England have a better Test record than any other home venue.<br /><br />On assessing the seam-friendly conditions in Birmingham, England selectors decided to release spinner Monty Panesar from their squad, leaving them with a 12-man squad to pick from this morning.<br /><br />Edgbaston will always be remembered for the enthralling Ashes Test back in 2005, which England won by two runs, but Australia captain Ricky Ponting insists the memories of that day will play no part in this Test.<br /><br />&ldquo;At the end of the day I don&rsquo;t think we were that disappointed as a side coming away from here last time,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;It was a great Test match.&rdquo;