Botham expects Kiwis to provide sterner test to 'complacent' Eng than Oz in Ashes

London, Mar 28 : Legendary Sir Ian Botham has rubbed more salt on Australia's current cricketing wounds, claiming the young New Zealand side would provide much sterner challenge to England in their return Test series than the bleak Oz team in Ashes this year.

"Based on England's 2-1 win in India before Christmas, and the Aussies' 4-0 rout on the subcontinent, I don't think England will win by a 10-0 aggregate over the two series, home and away, coming up against the old enemy," Botham wrote in his column for the Daily Mirror.

"The Aussies are in such disarray I've been teasing my fair dinkum chums on Twitter that it will be 12-0... which is saying something when they are only playing 10 Tests," he added.

"As you will know, I have the highest regard for Australia as a country and its people, and I don't want to increase their suffering at a time of national mourning for the Baggy Green," he wrote.

Botham further added: "But this is the worst Aussie team I can remember. Even when I played against a side decimated by the Kerry Packer 'circus', they still had Rodney Hogg to take 40 wickets in a series against England."

"None of the above should give England any room for complacency about this summer - especially as they had to cling on for dear life to draw the Test series 0-0 in New Zealand," he wrote.

"As things stand, I expect the Kiwis to give us a better run for our money than the Aussies because it took exceptional resistance on the last day in Auckland to deny New Zealand a famous scalp," he further added.

"What did we learn from the second half of the winter? Well, despite captain Alastair Cook and coach Andy Flower's denials, I think there was an element of complacency about England's cricket," Botham said.

"Putting everything into perspective, New Zealand will be tougher to beat than the Aussies but, hey, who's complaining? he concluded.

--ANI (Posted on 28-03-2013)

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