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England has edge over 'ridiculous' Australia: Chappell
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Australia have put together a "ridiculous" squad which gives England a distinct edge in the forthcoming Ashes series, according to former Aussie captain Ian Chappell. "I thought it was ridiculous," Chappell said of Australia's team selection, pointing to Phillip Hughes' shaky form. "Certainly not going with a third opening batsman is just asking for trouble. There seems to be this widespread feeling that Hughes is fine, he's going to be a star. Well, he's only played three Tests. He's got a very unorthodox technique that could come unglued at any time. If it happens to be a wet summer in England he could be in a bit of trouble," Chappell told Cricinfo.

Chappell said a comparison between the bowling units of both the sides convinced him that Andrew Strauss and his men would hold sway in the five-match series. "If you're looking for clues as to who might win, I always look at the bowling attacks," said the cricketer-turned-commentator. "Generally you can go with the team with the best attack. At the moment England certainly have got it. A bit will depend on (Andrew) Flintoff and his fitness, but if he's fit and can stand up for all five Tests then England have definitely got the better attack, and a better balanced attack. On that basis I would have them slight favourites," he said.

Former England captain Tony Greig also doubted Ricky Ponting and his men's ability to cope with the English attack and said, "I'd go for England, but only by a whisker. "There's always so much tension around the first Ashes Test so temperament could play a very important part," he said.

Even as Australia might go in with a four-pronged pace attack since off-spinner Nathan Hauritz looked off-colour, Chappell said no team can win a Test relying on part-time spinners. "I just don't believe part-time spinners can do the job for you. They should have learned the lesson after what they tried in India and that was an abject failure. You might get away with it on occasions. You shouldn't win Test matches against decent cricket teams relying on part-time spinners. The selectors have made an absolute nonsense of what they've done with spinners," said Chappell.

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