Waugh refuses to write off England - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waugh refuses to write off England

By Michael Crutcher 25/11/2002 06:38:09 AM Comments (0)

Captain Steve Waugh is refusing to write off England even though his Australian team now seems certain to win its eighth consecutive Ashes series.

Australia will take a 2-0 lead into Friday's third Test in Perth after crushing England by an innings and 51 runs with a day to spare at the Adelaide Oval.

Glenn McGrath (4-41) and Shane Warne (3-36) did their usual job as England fell for 159 in its second innings to follow Australia's 384-run win in the first Test.

Before Sunday's victory, Australia had been 100-1 on favourites with some sports bookmakers to retain the Ashes but Waugh still would not talk about his team's chances of a 5-0 clean sweep.

"I've played enough sport to know that sides can come back," Waugh said.

"They've got enough good players - we're not silly enough to write them off.

"India did it too us in India (in 2000-01), where we led 1-0 then by 275 on the first innings and lost the series 2-1.

"That's what sport's all about - it's unpredictable."

Waugh doubted whether any team would ever get near Australia's world record of 16 consecutive Test victories and his team is a long way off challenging its own record despite its fifth straight win.

But, if not for a surprising loss to South Africa in Durban last March, Australia would last night have celebrated its 11th consecutive victory.

"That was a slack loss," Waugh said.

"We led by 170 on the first innings and we should have won that Test.

"It was probably the one time we were physically and mentally drained. We didn't lift ourselves.

The Australian squad will arrive in Perth tomorrow with an unchanged squad while injury-plagued England monitors the fitness of John Crawley (hip) and Andrew Caddick (back).

England captain Nasser Hussain isn't giving up on the summer despite the humiliating losses in the first two Tests.

"How do we get things right? If it was that easy I'd be telling everyone," Hussain said.

"It comes down to technique and ability and putting the balls in the right areas. It's a simple game that everyone else makes complicated.

"Look at the way Glenn McGrath sets up his over. The way (Ricky) Ponting bats - it's not a mental thing, it is a technical, positive thing and that's where we're being outplayed at the moment."

England will train at the Adelaide Oval nets today after Hussain and coach Duncan Fletcher are briefed on the latest injury reports.

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