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Ian Chappell tips England as favourites in Ashes

Andrew FlintoffFormer Aussie captain and now commentator and critic, Ian Chappell has slammed the Australian selectors for dishing out a nonsense team for the Ashes. He has gone on to tip England as favourites for the series given a stronger bowling attack that they possess.

Chappell also said a lot would depend on the fitness of Andrew Flintoff but if he could remain fit for all the five games of the series, then the hosts will be favourites to win the series.

Chappell's issues with the team stem from the absence of any back-up opener in the squad, which means that the Aussies will need to rely on the duo of Phillip Hughes and Simon Katich to do the job. However, Hughes has had early problems on the tour with his technique and hence his form under conditions which have offered a little bit of swing and bounce for the pace bowlers.

Hughes has played only three test matches and a handful of first class games. Writing for a cricket website, Chappell said, "There seems to be this widespread feeling that Hughes is fine, he's going to be a star. Well, he's only played three Tests. He's got a very unorthodox technique that could come unglued at any time."

He also added that it will be a mistake to play no spinners in the game as this will affect the balance of the team. His concern was that part-time spinners, according to him, may not be able to do the job, as could be the case for the first test match where Australia may look to Michael Clarke, Katich and Marcus North to deliver in place of Hauritz.

He said, "You shouldn't win Test matches against decent cricket teams relying on part-time spinners. The selectors have made an absolute nonsense of what they've done with spinners." Chappell also reminded the team of what happened in India when the part-timers had been expected to do the job for them.

Former English captain, Tony Greig, also concurred with Chappell as he said that England looks marginal favourites to clinch the series, but a lot will depend on the first test match. Speaking to a cricket website, he said, "I'd go for England, but only by a whisker. There's always so much tension around the first Ashes Test so temperament could play a very important part."

Greig also said that he wasn't sure whether the Aussie batsmen will be able to handle the swing in the English conditions.

Tags:- Andrew Flintoff   England   Ian Chappell   Michael Clarke   Simon Katich  

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