Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


England attack can win Ashes says Jones

Simon Jones believes England's current bowling attack has the power to emulate the achievements of the 2005 Ashes triumph.

Jones, Andrew Flintoff, Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Ashley Giles were England's bowling heroes four years ago - when they triumphed 2-1 over Ricky Ponting's tourists.

Flintoff is the only survivor from that bowling line-up likely to be in action when the opening Test of this summer's series gets under way at Cardiff on July 8.

But Worcestershire fast bowler Jones, currently sidelined with a knee problem, has confidence in the bowlers at Andrew Strauss' disposal to see off the Aussies again.

He told PA Sport: "I think England have got a good chance this summer. We have a young, enthusiastic side who are just starting to find their feet.

"The key to any series is being able to take 20 wickets in a game. It is the way to win games. It is obvious. In 2005, Hoggy [Hoggard] swung the ball, and I was doing reverse-swing.

"Then Harmy [Harmison] and 'Freddie' (Flintoff) just bowled 'well' fast - so all the aggression we needed was there, and we took wickets.

Jones believes the change in personnel in the intervening years has not diluted the firepower.

"With the attack England have got at the moment, I think they can take 20 wickets," he said.

"If you look at Stuart Broad, he has come in and done exceptionally well. He is bowling fast and is looking good with the bat as well.

"Jimmy Anderson is leading the attack and really looking the part. Obviously 'Freddie' is the one that they need in the side - because he is top quality.

"The way he is looking, he is going to be fit and firing. I genuinely think we have got a very good chance."

Jones, who took 18 wickets in four Tests in 2005, believes momentum and a belief in one another are key factors if England are to come out on top.

He recalls: "In 2005 we had such a balanced attack and we had played together for three or years, non-stop really.

"We had won three or four series on the bounce and went into the Ashes feeling really confident.

"You would walk into the changing room, and there was an air of comfort. Everyone knew each other's game and knew each other as people.

"When you go on to the field, you take that with you."

Jones had targeted an Ashes comeback himself this summer, before suffering a further knee setback.

But the 30-year-old is adamant his career is not over.

The former Glamorgan player said: "I always take the positives out of a negative, and the good thing is the cartilage is in really good nick. Just the bone underneath needs a little more time to heal.

"Until recently I was hoping to play before the end of the season, but unfortunately it is not going to happen. There is nothing we can do about that.

"I've now just got to look forward to next season, get myself in good shape over the winter - and see what happens."