The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steve urges selectors not to wield axe

Sydney: Steve Waugh has urged the Australian selectors to resist the temptation to change the Test side for the Ashes series against England, saying the move would play into the tourists’ hands.

The Australian captain also brushed off suggestions his all-conquering team would have an easy ride against the English, insisting the tourists were better than their early tour results suggested. “You can’t look too much into the pre-Test form, I’m sure they will be ready come the first day at the first Test at Brisbane,” Waugh said at Sydney airport.

“We’ve had good results in the last seven series but that doesn’t mean we are going to win it.

“Back in 1986 the England side came out here and they said they weren’t a great side and they beat us pretty convincingly.”

Waugh’s place in the team had been under some scrutiny after a barren run with the bat over the past year, but the 37-year-old silenced his critics with an unbeaten century against Pakistan on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mark’s critics have called for him to be sacked before the Ashes but Steve offered a word of caution, urging the selectors not to change a winning team.

“The English will probably hope that we have a couple of changes in our side, but it really depends on what the selectors want and what they see as the future,” Waugh said.

“I think when you are running a business and being successful you wouldn’t just throw a couple of guys out and replace them for the sake of it.”

Waugh, who delayed his return home from the Pakistan tour to stop off in India for a business meeting, also dismissed suggestions he was contemplating retirement and was tired of constantly being asked about his future.

“I’m not planning on going just yet and I don’t think Mark is either. I think everyone’s jumping to conclusions a little bit,” he said. “We’ve had this the last 12 months — it would be nice to play a game of cricket without having these sorts of things hanging over your head.

“Australia is the best side in the world — it would be nice to celebrate that for a change.”

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