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Oz conqueror Arthur backs Aussies to win Ashes.

Sydney, Oct 18 (ANI): Former Proteas coach Mickey Arthur, who guided South Africa to a Test series win in Australia, believes that the Australian team will win the Ashes.

He further said that there were "more question marks over England than there are over Australia." Arthur had coached South Africa to a 2-1 series victory in 2008.

"I would write Australia off at your peril. I think Australia are going to win the Ashes. That's my gut feeling ... I think it's going to be a good series, a close series, but I would still be looking at Australia," said Arthur, who now coaches Western Australia.

He said the Australians will respond to their recent defeat in India the same way they did to their last home Test series loss.

"I was really surprised at how everybody turned on Australia the minute they lost, but they regrouped particularly well when they came back to South Africa. I think they'll regroup just as well," The Sydney Morning Herald quoted him, as saying.

Arthur also said that there was a question mark over the bowling of spinner Nathan Hauritz, and predicted Ben Hilfenhaus, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle to be the Australian seamers, with Shane Watson as support, for the first Test.

"I think that's their one significant weakness. They need a spinner who can hold the game. In Australia, you've got to have a spinner that can hold the game. Hauritz - I'm not sure whether he can do that. But I think Australia has more of an ability to get 20 wickets," he said.

Arthur also said he had question marks over England's batting order. "I think the jury's out on [Alastair] Cook. I know Jonathan Trott quite well, and he's going to be put under a lot of mental pressure here. How he handles it is going to be interesting," Arthur said.

"And there's got to be a question mark over KP's ability right now - not over his ability, just mentally, how he slots back into the set-up. I think there are more question marks over England than there are over Australia. Australia play well in their own conditions," he said. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Oct 18, 2010
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