Botham confident of England reclaiming the Ashes in 2009

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London, Nov 7 (UNI) Former captain Ian Botham believes that the England team will have the edge over Australia following the retirement of bowling greats Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne and said the Englishmen will reclaim the Ashes on home soil next year.

England defeated Australia 2-1 in 2005 and fast bowlers Andrew Flintoff and Stephen Harmison are the only two members of that series-winning attack.

However, England was thrased 5-0 by the Australian team in 2006-07 to once against leay their hands on the prestigious Ashes Trophy.

''I do believe we'll win quite comfortably over here,'' Botham told BBC radio today.

''I predicted it in 2005 and I predict it again. We have the bowlers - the one thing Australia are lacking,'' he stated.

Paceman Brett Lee apart, former seam-bowling all-rounder Botham said he was not impressed by the rest of the Australia bowling attack which still has the bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and Shane Watson.

''They have Brett Lee. But after that, there's nothing, there's no spinner and no Glenn McGrath, Botham added.

Botham's comments came on the very same day when off-spinner Jason Krejza nade his debut against India at Nagpur and picked up three important top-order wickets.

''There's no threat. If the (English) bowlers stay fit I think we will win the series,'' he added.

Botham was the one player for England who changed the course of the 1981 Ashes with several stunning displays. After resigning the England captaincy after the drawn second Test at Lord's, a result that left Australia 1-0 up, Botham turned the third at Headingley on its head.

England, following-on, were all but out of the game at 135 for seven.

But Botham flayed the Australian attack for a blistering unbeaten 149 before fast bowler Bob Willis, with the tourists needing just 130, took eight wickets as England won an extraordinary match by 18 runs.


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