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Former Australia pace bowler Ryan Harris has branded England’s batting line-up as “vulnerable” ahead of the Ashes, which begins on November 23 in Brisbane.
While England crushed a Cricket Australia XI by 192 runs in their four-day warm-up match last week, Harris still sees imperfections when it comes to the tourists’ batsmen.
Harris added that the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was withdrawn from the Ashes squad due to his involvement in an alleged street brawl outside a nightclub in Bristol, will further weaken England’s batting.
“I think it is, especially with no Ben Stokes,” Harris told Sky Sports. “It depends how the boys bowl, if they bowl loose and wide the batsman won’t have any troubles.
“We’ve got some good intelligence and knowledge on what we want to do, which I’ll pass on to our bowlers. That’s why we play these games. It’s all good going into a big series.”
However, Harris pointed out that captain Joe Root will be England’s key player during the series and will have to lead by example if his side want to put up a fight.
“Root is world class, we’ve been known to target the captain when we play against them, he’s genuinely their best player,” Harris, who took 22 wickets during Australia’s 5-0 whitewashing of England in the 2013/14 Ashes, said. “If you take out the two or three best players out of an opposition side, it’ll hopefully be hard, and that’s what I’m sure the Australians will be trying to do.”