Giles eyes Ashes 'rewards'
Ashley Giles believes England will soon put the disappointment of their ICC Champions Trophy behind them to approach the Ashes with confidence.
The England team had hoped to fly straight from India to Australia to begin their defence of the urn, but decided to return home for a week following their early elimination from the tournament.
Yet Giles, who travelled to India as non-playing squad member to work on his fitness after hip and groin problems, insists morale is high and he himself is in good shape and raring to go.
The left-arm spinner said: “You’d struggle to not have morale going into an Ashes series when you hold the Ashes.
“There are some great rewards to be had this winter.”
The 33-year-old has not appeared for England in 2006 because of a persistent hip injury but he insists the team have not been affected by their mixed season.
They drew the Test series with Sri Lanka before beating Pakistan 3-0, yet struggled with their one-day form as they were hit by injuries to a host of key players.
“Whatever is gone is gone and now it’s a great challenge that lies ahead,” added Giles. “It’s a very exciting challenge for me and the rest of the team.
“It’s going to be a brilliant winter. Going to Australia is the ultimate challenge in cricket.
“We hold these Ashes and we want to bring them home,” he said.
England were eliminated from the Champions Trophy after losing their opening two matches to India and Australia, but ended the compeition on a high note with victory over West Indies on Saturday.
England have a brief break before the Australia tour, which begins with a one-day match against a Prime Minister’s XI in Canberra on November 10.
The first Test starts on November 23 at the Gabba in Brisbane.