The Ashes: Andrew Strauss backs England to retain Ashes

Last Updated: 21/06/13 8:43am

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Strauss joins Sky Sports

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Former skipper Andrew Strauss says England can pull off an ICC Champions Trophy-Ashes triple.

Alastair Cook's men remain in contention to win their first ICC 50-over global title - they will take on South Africa in the first semi-final on Wednesday - and will begin back-to-back Ashes series, home and away, against Australia on July 10.

Strauss, who led England to Ashes glory in 2011/12, says the team have the ability to be successful across the board not least because Australia - who failed to make it out of the Champions Trophy group stages - are short of form.

"Everything is shaping up really well," reflected Strauss. "They've managed to get to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy and, with home advantage, I think they've got a really good chance of winning the event now.

"Relative to Australia, we look as though we are in a pretty good place for the Ashes. The guys just need to go out there and play well and then we've got a fantastic chance of winning that series as well.

"Sometimes being favourite puts you under a bit more pressure. There's that feeling that everyone thinks you ought to win but then you start to think 'we've got more to lose than gain, here'.

Warner has to pay the price

"That's going to be a challenge for the England players to overcome. They've got to make sure they go out and play smart cricket and if they do that, then they've got a great chance."

Strauss, who retired from cricket in August 2012, will be on the Sky Sports' Ashes commentary rota for both series - the sixth former England captain to join the team.

Looking ahead to the experience, he said: ""It's going to be really special. There is going to be a great atmosphere in the Ashes, wherever you go, home or away, and to have them back-to-back is going to create even more interest.

"I think England should win well in England - I'm going for a 3-1 win to England and if we win here we should win in Australia too, so I'm going for 2-0 away."

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