Shane Warne has warned against writing off Australia’s chances of winning the Ashes.
Australia appear to be a team in turmoil after back-to-back defeats in India and the much-derided decision to dump Shane Watson, James Pattinson, Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Johnson from the Third Test for failing to make a presentation, as instructed by coach Mickey Arthur, on how the side could improve.
But Warne insists Michael Clarke’s men can still come good ahead of this summer’s Ashes series in England.
"At the moment, if you look at both teams and where they are at, it looks like England would win. But you never know with an Ashes series. It does bring out the best in everybody,” said the Aussie spin legend, speaking on Drive Time.
“England are the favourites, there’s absolutely no question about that. But that’s a good thing for Australia. There is no expectation on them, so they can come here and maybe be a surprise package, if they get their selection right, get the right players on the field and stay injury-free.
“If suddenly [James] Anderson and [Graeme] Swann got injured the week before and were out for the whole series, the whole England side would look completely different. They have got a bit of depth but if they lose a couple of their strike players suddenly it gets a little bit interesting.
“There’s too much that could happen to say what the scoreline is going to be. You can say England are 100 per cent favourites at this stage but Australia have got the surprise element.”
Warne, however, has told Australia's management team they need to adopt a more relaxed approach if they are to achieve success.
“For me, cricket is about having fun,” he said. “It’s about a group of guys ganging up and trying to beat up on the opposition and having some fun along the way. You get a few things wrong, but hopefully you get more things right than wrong.
“In my leadership time, when I have had it at Hampshire, Victoria, and at times with Australia, if there has been any issues with players then it is all about making them feel at ease and winding back to the old fashioned days.
"It is about going to a pub or locking yourselves in a room with a few beers in a relaxed environment and making it all informal. With everyone just having a chat, it always leads to something. The more formal you make things, it makes people not want to express themselves.
"If two guys have got an issue they can punch one another in a corner if they have to but you sort it all out, wake up the next day, all walk across the line together and away you go."