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Legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham believes that the national team has what it takes to upset Australia and regain the Ashes.
However, Botham pointed out that they will only succeed in doing so if the bowling attack is up to par.
The 59-year-old added that he is expecting pace bowler Mark Wood and all-rounder Ben Stokes to have a huge impact throughout the series after they excelled during the recent two-Test series against New Zealand, which ended as a 1-1 draw.
Wood claimed nine wickets at an average of 33.22, while Stokes scored 228 runs, which included the fastest Test century at Lord’s, at an average of 57.
“The first Test is crucial, but I think England can upset the apple cart and win,” Botham told Sky Sports. “It will only be by a Test, likely 3-2 either way. But if this weather stays there are probably going to be results in all five Tests and it will be very tight.
“If the bowlers turn up, James Anderson with over 400 Test wickets and Stuart Broad closing in on 300, plus Mark Wood, who I think is an exciting prospect, I think England can do it.
“Wood has something England haven’t had for a while. You have to go back to Steve Harmison in his pomp, they’ve got pace again as he can get it up into the mid-90s.
“And Ben Stokes could have a massive impact. He’s a genuine all-rounder, good enough to be in the team in both departments – bowling and batting – plus is an exceptional fielder. He could have a massive part to play in this Ashes series, he just gives the captain more options.”