Strauss reveals how he plotted downfall of Australia's big three in Oval Test

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Nottingham (UK), Sep.16 (ANI): England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has revealed how he planned the removal of Australia's big three-Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey, and Michael Clarke - to win the fifth Test and Ashes series at The Oval last month.

England exploited Hussey's confusion over his off stump and Clarke's tendency to drive in the air, Strauss claims in his new book Testing Times, to defeat an Australian side now described as "working-class" by Hussey.

Writing of Australia's first-innings collapse in the final Test, which was the decisive session of the series, Strauss said: "The huge wicket was Ricky Ponting dragging a ball on to his stumps. You could almost sense how dispiriting it was for the Australian camp to see their captain trudging back. At that moment you felt it was going to take some special Australian batting for them to wrest the game back from us.

"All through the series, Mike Hussey had been unsure about where his off stump was. A couple of times he had been bowled shouldering arms, and a couple of times he had 'nicked off'.

Having been forced by Broad into deciding whether to play or not, he hesitated against an outswinger - an inswinger to the left-hander - and that was his downfall," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Strauss as saying in his book.

"One of our talks before the game had been about how to bowl at Michael Clarke. He went into the game as the leading run-scorer in the series ... In the process we had noticed that his drives through the extra-cover region, while very crisp, were sometimes aerial. And, as so often when the game is going your way, he proceeded to hit his drive straight at [Jonathan] Trott at short extra, putting Australia under even more pressure," he said.

Australia never recovered from that collapse, dismissed for 160 chasing England's first-innings total of 332. The hosts eventually won by 197 runs. (ANI)

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