Miller tips England for Ashes glory
National selector Geoff Miller has outlined his belief that England have all the ingredients for Ashes success in Australia.
England head into their opening tour game against Western Australia, starting on Friday, seeking the victory which would provide early impetus to their Ashes challenge.
Despite not having won on Australia soil since 1986-87, England’s recent results have convinced Miller that they can pull off the greatest of cricketing feats Down Under this winter.
“I’m quietly confident,” he told ecb.co.uk/video. “I see no reason why we can’t be successful.
“We’ve got some seasoned Test players who know what it’s like to win. We’re a motivated side, a quality side; we’ve turned the corner.
“We’ve performed well for the last two years and there’s no reason why we can’t continue that.”
Former off-spinner Miller, who tasted both Ashes success and failure on Australian soil in 1978-79 and 1982-83 respectively, knows the challenges posed by conditions that are markedly different to those experienced by England during an unbeaten summer on home soil.
However, while he admits “you’re never sure what happens in the Ashes”, he is confident that the current crop of players are well placed to succeed where the previous five touring parties have failed.
“It’s always hard going over to Australia to perform,” he added. “They are on their home ground - it’s going to be tough, we know that.
“But we know we’ve got players who can perform under pressure in all situations.
“We’ll have to wait to see what the surfaces bring to us - what the conditions are like.
“But I know full well that whatever they are, the right decision will be made - to (pick) the best XI for those conditions - and they can compete in whatever conditions are thrown at them.”
A key factor in Miller’s positive outlook is Andrew Strauss’ leadership, one of the most notable - and important - features of England’s cricket since his appointment in January last year.
Miller, who played under no less distinguished a captain as Mike Brearley during a 34-Test career spanning almost eight years, revealed he has “nothing but admiration” for Strauss.
“I’m always impressed,” Miller said. “He’s strong, very level-headed, makes good decisions. He’s very good on communication and talks to his players.
“It’s important he scores runs - that’s a vital aspect - but he’s quite capable of doing that.”