4 Aug 2009

Nervousness emerges over England prospects of winning Ashes

6:39 pm on 4 August 2009

British media have sounded a nervous warning about the effectiveness of England's bowlers after the side drew the third Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

Newspapers have raised questions about the fitness of key all-rounder Andrew Flintoff who, although starring with the bat, went wicketless against the Ashes-holders.

After leading England to victory in the second Test, the injury-prone Flintoff, who has said this will be his last Test series, appeared to struggle with a longstanding knee injury in the latter stages of the match.

Former England captain Nasser Hussain says serious questions must be asked in the England camp about Flintoff's position in the side for the fourth Test.

While another former England skipper Mike Atherton singled out captain Andrew Strauss, saying his decision making on the final day was at times "puzzling".

But former England bowler Ian Botham was upbeat about England's chances of snatching the Ashes, and insisted Australia were still the side under pressure in this series as they have yet to win a test and still haven't managed to bowl England out twice in a game.

The draw leaves England 1-0 up in the five-match series with two to play ahead of the start of Friday's fourth Test at Headingley.