Australian squad not match-hardened ahead of Ashes: Waugh

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Melbourne, Mar 13 (ANI): Former skipper Steve Waugh has warned Ricky Ponting and the Australian squad that they are not match-hardened heading into this year's home Ashes series because of a lack of competition from rival teams.

Waugh said Australia would be competitive when the first Test starts in November, but stopped short of predicting a landslide.

"The team has played well over the past 12 months, but the big issue is the quality of that opposition," the Daily Telegraph quoted Waugh, as saying.

"Pakistan and West Indies, you would hardly call them good Test teams. We haven't played much tough cricket," he added.

Meanwhile, Ponting said he felt the Clarke-Lara Bingle drama had tested the mettle of his side this week.

"Losing our vice-captain probably just put a little bit more back on to me I guess. I'm lucky in that I've got guys like Mike Hussey and Cameron White who have good cricket brains.

"I've still got plenty of other experienced guys around. Little things like that quite often I'd like to think bring good teams closer. Michael being out, Adam Voges coming in - it presented a great opportunity for him and the other guys stepped up a little bit," Ponting said. (ANI)

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