29 Jun 2013

Strauss confident England will punish troubled Aussies

10:09 am on 29 June 2013

Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss believes his country has never been stronger favourites to win the Ashes after Australia's descent into chaos in recent weeks.

Strauss, who masterminded back-to-back Ashes triumphs in 2009 and 2011, has been stunned by the turmoil gripping the Australian squad ahead of the five-Test series between the old rivals in England.

Australian batsman David Warner missed the majority of the recent Champions Trophy after being suspended for punching England star Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.

Then, just weeks before the July 10 start of the Ashes, Australia sacked coach Mickey Arthur and replaced him with Darren Lehmann, while captain Michael Clarke asked to step down from his role as a selector.