Read Tips England
For 2-1 Ashes Victory
Featured News | 24th November 2010
Nottinghamshire captain Chris Read has backed England to secure a 2-1 Ashes series victory on Australian soil.
The former England wicket-keeper featured in the final two Tests when England suffered a whitewash in the 2006-07 series but believes the tourists have every reason to be optimistic ahead of the first Test in Brisbane.
"I think it's our best chance in a long time because if you look at the England side, it is well balanced, settled and they have had excellent preparation," said Read.
"Winning two and drawing one of the three tour games so far represents a solid start and they looked to be confident.
"England are a very solid outfit, while a lot has been made of Australia and where they are at; that they do not have as strong a squad as in years gone by and there are questions if they are going to be up for it.
"That has probably been overplayed – I can't imagine for one minute it is going to be an easy series for England, but they have got as good a chance as they ever will have.”
"I think it's our best chance in a long time because if you look at the England side, it is well balanced, settled and they have had excellent preparation." - Chris Read
Read believes that Brisbane conditions are somewhat different to those England will encounter later in the tour and the decision to allow front-line bowlers to acclimatise ahead of the fixture may pay dividends.
"The conditions in Brisbane are likely to be different from what England have encountered so far, with more pace and bounce." he said.
"But I don't think conditions will be that alien compared to playing on the sub-continent, even if the bowlers will have to adjust their lengths.
"It's important to get a good start, but I also think it will be England's toughest Test match. Traditionally Australia have a very good record there, so a solid draw would really set things up for them.”
Read has identified Nottinghamshire teammate Stuart Broad as England’s key man and expects him to shoulder considerable responsibility in the bowling attack.
"There are quite a few of the England lads who will be playing there competitively for the first time, but I don't think Broady will worry about that," he said.
"He's been in and around the team for a long time now and is part of the furniture and I think he will do well.
"He needs to step up because he's one of England's frontline bowlers, but he's more than capable of doing it. If he hits good areas consistently, then his height and pace can cause problems.
"He has the qualities that make him a match-winner and he can bowl brilliant spells and take something like four wickets in four overs to turn the game.
"We know he has the potential to score big runs as well and he proved that against Pakistan at Lord's this summer with his big hundred."
Live coverage of the first Test in Brisbane begins at midnight on Sky Sports 1.