Ian Bell says the Australians are getting carried away thinking they’re hot favourites for the Ashes.
The former England batsman – who played 118 Test matches and in three Ashes series wins – took to Twitter to question the prevailing opinion that Australia will hammer England if Ben Stokes remains unavailable.
In a series of tweets, the Warwickshire veteran who scored 22 Test hundreds, sought to give hope to England fans and neutrals.
“Just reading a bit of Ashes press from Down Under & it sounds like some people are getting a little bit carried away with this Aus team…
“I have a lot of respect for Aus cricket but in my mind, the only reason I’d put Aus as slight favourites right now is they’re the home team.
“The Aussies have as many question marks in there team as England do, and man for man – even without Stokesy – I’d say England line up better.”
The Aussies have as many question marks in there team as England do, and man for man – even without Stokesy – I’d say England line up better
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) October 13, 2017
And in a reference to the historic 2010/11 series win Down Under, of which Bell was a part, he finished by saying: “BUT, England will have to be at the top of their game to beat Australia in their back yard, believe me! It should be really exciting.”
England’s chances of pulling off a rare away series win have taken a dent with the news that Ben Stokes will not travel with the squad to Australia and could well play no part in the tour. They fly out on October 28 to begin their preparations for the first Test in Brisbane, which starts on November 23.