Flat pitches will aid Australia – Ian Botham

Ian Botham has cautioned that England will be "playing into Australia's hands" if level pitches are readied for the InvestecAshes.

Ian Botham, the previous England chief, is worried that a yearning to boost ticket deals could persuade the grounds facilitating the Tests to plan simple paced, level tracks with a perspective to attempting to guarantee that every match keeps going the full five days. In any case, he demanded such a strategy would be a mistake and feels that, if the arrangement is played on surfaces offering bowlers some help, England have the group to astound Australia.

"We don't need level wickets," Botham said. "That is playing directly into Australia's indicators. The pitch at Lord's for the Test against New Zealand was an extraordinary pitch. Pitches like that serve up awesome cricket. Kindly don't serve up five-day corporate pitches. On the off chance that you do we should send the Ashes back now on the grounds that that'll play directly into Australia's hands.

"I'm not certain they will set out to plan level wickets. We'll be on their case thus will the composed media and general society too on the grounds that they've got used to seeing an expressive England. They don't need exhausting cricket.

"On the off chance that we play on great donning pitches England have got a decent risk against Australia. They're at home. Everyone is anticipating that Australia should come here and journey to triumph yet I simply don't see that. I think it will be close."

At the heart of Botham's certainty is his confidence in England's young players. He accepts Joe Root is playing "eminently" and rates Ben Stokes at this very moment promising allrounder since his own profession finished.

"Ben Stokes is the genuine article," Botham said. "He's got the right mentality. He's an intense rival and is an adequate bowler and sufficient batsman. He didn't have much fortunes with the ball in the Tests v New Zealand - he had a couple of gets dropped off him - however that can abruptly change.

"I've been inspired since I first saw him several years back. How anyone could let him well enough alone for the World Cup is absolutely past me. However, that choice was made and Stokes responded in the most ideal way imaginable - he curved up, scored runs and took wickets. He's additionally a decent defender. He goes out there and plays with no apprehension and he's extremely solid rationally. That is the way he is going to play and that is the reason he'll win you diversions.

"I've addressed him, I get on well with him. Ideally we'll get a chance sooner or later amid the Ashes to get a nibble to eat and have a talk. It's simply broad talk when we do, in the event that he's got something specialized to ask he'll question. He's got the training staff, I'm only there right now.

"He's finding out about swinging the ball, about variety at the wrinkle, variety of pace. He's young yet he's got genuine ability. I think he is exceptional."

Be that as it may, Botham additionally encouraged the senior bowlers - Stuart Broad and James Anderson - to lead from the front and show the positive cricket the more youthful players indicated in their unlucky deficiency amid the restricted overs recreations against New Zealand.

"You've got a gentleman on more than 400 wickets and another fellow drawing closer 300," Botham said. "Those two are your senior bowlers. They have to turn up and they appreciate that.

"They've got the chance to perform and they've got the opportunity to be forceful. I think groups have worked out England used to sit back with cautious fields and sit tight for sides to commit errors. You can't do that now. This Australian group will go at you hard so I think England have got the chance to return hard.

"They need to attempt and hit the stumps. The best spells I've seen Broad dish were The Oval in 2009, where he hit the highest point of off stump, and after that at Durham in 2013, where he changed the diversion in a session. I believe its vital he tries to hit the highest point of off. He should not kick back and attempt and dish a length in light of the fact that you're not going to win matches with that."

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