Resurgent Australia wishing for earlier Ashes

Australian coach jokes that after England's 3-0 loss to Pakistan, he would like to test his side against the English.

Reuters February 08, 2012

The next Ashes series cannot come quick enough for Australia coach Mickey Arthur after his side whitewashed India and England were beaten 3-0 by Pakistan.   

Australia lost the last Ashes series 3-1 on home soil in 2010-11, prompting a major overhaul of Australian cricket which included the appointment of Arthur.

Buoyed by a 4-0 rout of India in their recent test series, as well as England's 3-0 loss to Pakistan, Arthur joked he would like an earlier opportunity to test his resurgent side against the English.

As it is, Arthur will have to wait until next year to lock horns with England coach Andy Flower and his team, who were well beaten in the Pakistan series held in the United Arab Emirates.

"I wouldn't mind it actually. I wish it was this summer in England," Arthur told reporters in Perth on Wednesday.

"But we're building nicely, we're bubbling away and I'm happy with where the team is at at the moment. And confident we are just getting better and better."

Two Ashes series will be played back-to-back in 2013 with Australia's midyear visit to England followed by the return series Down Under around the turn of 2014.

South African Arthur said he was "really impressed" with Pakistan's victory over England.

"Conditions were very suitable for them, though, and I think that has to be held in isolation, that conditions definitely favoured Pakistan," he added.

“England had come out of a cold winter, they hadn't played any cricket. I don't think they were battle-hardened at all and I think that came out in the way they played.

"They'll be properly prepared for their summer and for when we get there."

Arthur said last month that winning the next Ashes series remained the main long-term goal of the Australia team.

"Winning back the Ashes is at the forefront of everybody's mind," he said.

"I'd be lying if I didn't say that we were trying to build a really competitive team to go back and win them in 2013, but not at the detriment of any other series."


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