England will get runs - Butcher

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Mark Butcher

Mark Butcher en route to a century at Sydney in 2003. The former England batsman expects the tourists to shine with the bat this winter

Mark Butcher has backed England’s batsmen to score heavily in Australia this winter as they look to secure an historic Ashes triumph.

The tourists’ top order will clearly be required to make a significant contribution if Andrew Strauss’ side are to emulate the achievements of Mike Gatting’s 1986-87 team in recording a series victory Down Under.

And Butcher, who scored centuries in Ashes Tests at Brisbane in 1998 and Sydney in 2003, expects them to deliver.

The former Surrey left-hander told ecb.co.uk: “I think they will perform well; they are all very good players.

“There aren’t any question marks over any of the selections; they are all the best players in England at the moment. If they score big volumes of runs we will win.”

Australia’s own form has been disappointing of late, but they are still expected to pose a stiff test on home soil.

However, Butcher believes the conditions may also be to the liking of England’s batsmen.

“I think one of the differences is the way the ball, particularly the new ball, bounces over there,” he added.

“You can leave a lot of balls on length that you might be slightly reluctant to do either here or on the sub-continent.

“So being a decent judge of length is important and we’ve got a lot of guys who are very good back-foot players, so I don’t think they will have to change a great deal.”

Butcher also expects England to deal with any barracking that comes their way from the home supporters.

‘Pommie-bashing’ has been a notable feature of many an Ashes tour, but rarely have England arrived Down Under with such a positive mindset.

“The guys going out on these trips nowadays are a lot better prepared in all aspects than we were back in the late 90s, so I’m sure they will be full of confidence anyway,” said Butcher.

“Taking everything with a very large pinch of salt is the main thing.

“Probably the best advice is to just have a half-decent sense of humour while you are out there.”

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