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Lamb: 'England on right track Published: 11 November 2010

Allan Lamb believes England are taking the right approach by sticking with their preferred starting XI ahead of the first Ashes Test on November 25.

England named an unchanged team for the second of their three first-class warm-up games against South Australia after victory over Western Australia in the tour opener.

Lamb said: "England know who’s going to be in the Test side and the other guys in the squad know so they’re doing the right thing by picking the same side for each of the games.

"The players out of the team know who’s there so they’re going to have to wait for their chance and take it, if it comes. That’s how it works"

England's 'best chance'

Speaking exclusively to Lords.org from the famous Lord’s Pavilion at the Marston's Pedigree 'Ashes Banter' event, Lamb spoke confidently about the prospect of a first England victory Down Under in 23-years.

The 56-year-old believes England preparation for this tour has given them a great chance of retaining the Urn they won in 2009.

"I think the preparation is good and it’s a key factor. If we were cutting corners then we would lose but Flower and Strauss have done a very good job in terms of preparation for this trip.

"Recently people have wanted shorter tours but it doesn’t work, you need to be ready and prepared.

"Matthew Hayden was telling me that when he came over with Australia in 2005 that they hardly played a county side.

"It doesn’t work, you need to get into nick because then it takes a couple of Test matches to get used to it.

"Back then he was only just getting into it in the last couple of games and it’s important that everyone gets in the swing of things before the first match."

No stone unturned

Four years ago England were a side dogged by injury to several key players - including Ashes winning skipper Michael Vaughan - and went on to lose 5-0 under Andrew Flintoff.

They prepared by playing a one-day fixture against the Prime Minister’s XI and two three-day fixtures which included a 15-a-side game prior to the opening Test.

After Stephen Harmison sprayed the first ball of the series into Flintoff’s hands at second slip England capitulated to a crushing 277-run defeat.

However, Lamb is convinced England have the ability to turn the tables at the Gabba this time around and heap yet more pressure on Ricky Ponting’s men.

"I belive if England win the first Test match then we’ll win comfortably because Australia have such a good record at Brisbane and haven’t lost there since 1988." said Lamb, who played five of his 79 England Test’s in the victorious 1986/87 series.

"Australia know that they normally win Brisbane Test matches and that gets them off to a start so England have got to get on with it from the first ball.

"If England win though then the media will start getting after them and they will be under a lot of pressure."


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