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Aussies can easily beat Root's side in Ashes: Kerry O'Keeffe

News Agencies | Updated on: 20 July 2017, 15:22 IST

Former Test spinner Kerry O'Keeffe has expressed his confidence that Australia will easily come out victorious in this summer's Ashes series and that England captain Joe Root will struggle Down Under due to bouncier pitches.

Root, who recently took reign as England Test captain after experienced Alastair Cook stepped down from the post, smashed a brilliant 190 in the first Test to guide his side to a 1-0 lead in the four-match series against South Africa.

However, the scenario was short-lived as Proteas crushed England by huge 340 runs to level the series in Nottingham.

Although Root scored 78 and eight during that match, he was undone by a superb out-swinging yorker from Chris Morris in the second innings to see his side collapse to 133 all out.

When quizzed about the quality of England's top order in general, O'Keeffe admitted that the brilliant Root is indeed `a danger`, but the new England skipper could be troubled by the extra bounce in Australia.

"(England have) got the ageing (Alastair) Cook at one, at number three is (Gary) Ballance, who we've always had no problem with at all. Root at four is going to be a danger, but the bouncy wickets may bring him undone. He's a very good slow pitch player - stays side on, keeps the bat face open. (But) he'll nick forever if it bounces," cricket.com.au quoted O'Keeffe as saying.

The former Australian bowler also believes England, who have suffered defeat in eight Tests of their previous 13 matches, would struggle to beat the Steve Smith-led side at their own home ground.

O'Keeffe insisted that the Australians are traditionally very strong in their own backward, having also whitewashed England in the last Ashes series Down Under four summers ago.

"They've got ageing fast bowlers - I think we can win this series easily. You win at home, you lose away, and we are very good at home. On what I saw against South Africa, this is not (an England) side that can beat us," he said.

This year's Ashes series will begin on November 23, with the first Test being played at the Gabba in Brisbane.


First published: 20 July 2017, 15:22 IST