Australia say they’re ready and waiting to take a new-look England head on in the Ashes starting next month.
Following a horror showing at the World Cup, where they were bundled out before reaching the knockout stages, England vowed to play a more exciting brand of cricket.
A drawn series in the West Indies followed their shambolic World Cup and led to the sacking of coach Peter Moores and ultimately the signing of Australian Trevor Bayliss, who takes the reins later this week.
England are confidently pointing to their improved form against New Zealand, which has included entertaining drawn series in both the Test and one-day formats, as proof they’ve turned the corner.
Australia are inclined to agree, and they’re ready to fight fire with fire.
“We’re expecting a really tough series against a team that will come out quite hard against us and if they decided to try to play that positive brand we’ll be prepared for that,” Australian skipper Michael Clarke said.
“The most important thing is you’ve got a team with plenty of players in form and plenty of cricket under their belt, playing in conditions they’re very accustomed to, against a team that’s really excited to be back in England and look forward to the challenge that lies ahead.”
Batsman Shaun Marsh said England’s changed mindset had been noted in the Australian camp, who have always advocated playing Test cricket in positive fashion.
“I think it’s really important to get out there and show your aggression and put your stamp on the game. That’s the Australian way,” he said.
“We’ve seen the English come out and play some really positive cricket the past couple of months and it’s going to be a really good brand of cricket from both teams.
“They’re in great form. The one-day series and Test series against New Zealand has been good.”