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‘Sandpaper II’ could potentially help England win the Ashes Down Under, opines Michael Vaughan

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Vaughan believes that England could take advantage of Australia's fragility

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‘Sandpaper II’ could potentially help England win the Ashes Down Under, opines Michael Vaughan

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SportsCafe Desk

05/19/2021

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan feels that ‘Sandpaper II’ has exposed cracks in Australia’s dressing room, and feels that England could triumph Down Under if they can take advantage of the same. Vaughan, however, reckoned that both England and Australia are equally matched cricketing sides.

Three years after the ‘Sandpaper gate’ disgraced the country of Australia, new revelations made by Cameron Bancroft have rekindled controversy. Bancroft, in a harmless interview with The Guardian, claimed that it was ‘self-explanatory’ that the Aussie bowlers ‘knew’ about the ball being tampered with, and the claim has since caused chaos. Bancroft’s words made Sandpaper Gate a trending topic again and it blew up to the extent that the Australian bowlers - Starc, Cummins, Lyon and Hazlewood - ended up issuing a public statement condemning allegations against them. 

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes that there are still clear holes in the Aussie dressing room, and feels that if Joe Root’s England could exploit it, they could very well end up winning the Ashes Down Under.

“Dragging up the ball-tampering scandal has shown there are cracks in the Australian team that could be exploited by England if they start the Ashes series well later this year,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.

David Warner, Steve Smith and the bowlers are all under scrutiny again and it would only take a poor performance in the first Ashes Test for Australia for the pressure to mount. The captain, Tim Paine, is under the microscope after losing to India and while some think this could galvanise Australia, rarely are such public problems good for a team’s unity.

“Joe Root will be enjoying this and thinking it could help. He knows an argument or two in the opposing team is always good. But fundamentally England still have to play great cricket to win in Australia.”

Vaughan, however, at the same time, warned England that they should be wary of ‘not getting distracted by Australia’s problems’. The 46-year-old opined that, at the end of the day, both the Three Lions and Kangaroos are similarly shaky teams who are evenly matched.

“They should not become distracted by Australia’s problems. Enjoy it in private, but rise above it in public. England have enough to worry about in their own backyard by making sure they arrive in Australia with a settled batting unit, a fit bowling attack and a team that can ultimately win in those conditions.

“There are cracks in the England team as well and I see two sides that are quite similar. Both teams are quite vulnerable and that should make for a fascinating contest.”

Both Stuart Broad and Adam Gilchirst earlier quipped that more revelations might come out when the current Aussie players retire and start writing books, and Vaughan echoed the same sentiment. The former England skipper felt that Bancroft got thrown under the bus, and added that Warner too might unleash his side of the story once he eventually calls it a day.

“It’s surprising that this has all resurfaced. But Cameron Bancroft obviously feels he was thrown under a bus. He is unlikely to play for Australia again and yet he sees Steve Smith and David Warner back in the fold. Warner’s agent has warned that eventually “the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” will come out and I suspect he will have a good book in him when he retires,” Vaughan said. 

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