Ashes 2010: Aussies hope to take a pot shot at Duncan Fletcher

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SYDNEY - One of the least respected figures in English cricket, Duncan Fletcher, has riled Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and coach Tim Nielsen by calling the Australian outfit the worst in 30 years.

“You can quote me on this, we could not care less what Duncan Fletcher thinks about anything or anyone,” Nielsen told The Sunday Telegraph.

He added: “His opinions on most things in Test cricket are irrelevant. To be honest, Duncan Fletcher would not know the first thing about playing Test cricket in Australia.”

“Have a look at his record here. His record speaks for itself. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but that’s no great surprise. It annoys me that people like him come out and say the sort of things they do,” Nielsen said.

It may be recalled that Fletcher incensed Ponting at Trent Bridge in 2005 with condescending and inappropriate behaviour after the captain’s controversial dismissal.

The Australians appear hell-bent on ramming his words down his throat.

The five-Test series gets under way in Brisbane on Thursday. The cumbersome 17-man squad was cut to 13 yesterday.

Meanwhile, Nathan Hauritz was shattered to be sacked for Tasmania’s left-arm orthodox spinner Xavier Doherty.

However, former captain Allan Border was among those feeling renewed optimism.

“Going into Brisbane, I feel a lot better than I did a week ago about our prospects. Hauritz has been the man under the most scrutiny and he hasn’t been in great touch, let’s be honest,” Border said.

“It must have been a real tough decision. I think Australia will win by one Test. I feel sorry for Hauritz in that he hasn’t had a real chance to stake his claim. But I think the left-arm spin option is a good option. The England boys will struggle more against Doherty’s type of bowling. Obviously the selectors have gone for a guy who’s in slightly better form, ” said Border. (ANI)

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