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Australia coach urges England to come out fighting

Australia coach urges England to come out fighting

John Buchanan has implored England to give his Australian side a challenge in next week's fifth Ashes cricket test in Sydney.
Australia thrashed England by an innings and 99 runs in the fourth test in Melbourne and is bidding to become only the second team to sweep a five-match Ashes series _ and first since Warwick Armstrong's lineup did it in 1920-21.
After a night of celebrations in Melbourne, Buchanan held a news conference Friday to dissect the series so far.
The Australians reclaimed the Ashes with wins in Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and the win inside three days here increased its streak to 11 consecutive tests wins, and 15 wins and a draw since the shock 2-1 series defeat in England last year.
Buchanan said with the exception of Kevin Pietersen, the England batsmen had lacked the intent or aggression to attack the Australian bowling and had paid the price for it.
"It's not (like) the side we faced in 2005 ... clearly there is something missing," he said.
Australia won 10 of its 10 test matches in 2006 and Buchanan said the team wanted to start off 2007 with another win in Sydney, saying there would be no complacency like there was in 2003 when Australia led 4-0 before dropping the last match to England.
He said England should also take in a must-win approach.
"I'm hoping they enjoy the New Year and come back with a new resolve," Buchanan said. "They would like to kick off 2007 very well, as we would, there's one test up for grabs here and I would certainly like to see England come out and just take us head on."
Buchanan said Australia had widened the gulf between itself at the top of cricket and the rest of the competition.
"That was one mission of this series _ to re-establish the gap between Australia and what is supposed to be the second best test side in the world," he said. "The desire to perform irrespective of the opposition or the state of the series," is what drives the team.
The Sydney match will be the last test for Australian bowling greats Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath, and also for Buchanan, who is quitting after the 2007 World Cup.
It could also be the last for England coach Duncan Fletcher, although he said he'd make that decision after the World Cup and a review of the Ashes series.
Fletcher said his side had given everything in Melbourne, but it was not enough against the rampant Australians. Despite being beaten inside nine sessions, he also said it was not the worst defeat under his tenure as coach.
"Those guys are trying their damnest as a unit to try and put up performances," he said. "You go into the changing room afterwards and you just see how despondent they are."
Fletcher admitted there had been some selection mistakes on the tour and, in hindsight, some tactical errors on the field, but no lack of effort and no disunity in the team.
He wants his team to salvage something from the tour with a win.
"I've got to believe we can do it _ we've got one more match in Sydney, that's where our attention is."
Australia named an unchanged squad for the last match. England will announce its squad in Sydney.
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Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne.


Updated : 2021-03-05 15:51 GMT+08:00