McDermott thinks Botham could regret Australia jibes

Craig McDermott said his old Ashes rival Ian Botham is wrong to write Australia off, backing Usman Khawaja and Matt Renshaw to step up.

Ex-Australia paceman Craig McDermott, the bowling coach for his country when England was whitewashed on its previous Ashes tour, believes Botham could be made to eat his words.   -  R. Ravindran

Craig McDermott thinks Ian Botham's scathing verdict on Australia's Ashes credentials will come back to bite him.

Former England captain Botham declared that Steve Smith's side is one of the poorest he's seen for a long time, fanning the flames ahead of the upcoming five-Test series.

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The outspoken Botham was particularly damning when it came to assessing Australia's batting line-up, saying it is far too reliant on captain Smith and his deputy David Warner.

Ex-Australia paceman McDermott, the bowling coach for his country when England was whitewashed on its previous Ashes tour, believes Botham could be made to eat his words. "That means we will score 400 every time, he shouldn't have said that (about Australia's batsmen).

"I think (Usman) Khawaja is capable of playing long Test innings, him being in such great form at the start of the summer is a real plus for Australian cricket. Whilst we do depend upon the likes of Stevie (Smith) and Davey Warner, Matt Renshaw is another who can play a long innings.

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"In 2013, when we won 5-0 the last time, the Poms came here, we made runs and their bowlers didn't perform that well, they bowled too short. Jimmy Anderson has always struggled in Australia with the Kookaburra ball and our bowlers should go well. If they bowl a good full length, mixed up with good aggressive short stuff, we can certainly take the Poms on from a batting perspective. It should be a good series, I think we can win it 3-1."

The first Test gets under way at the Gabba on November 23.