2005 Ashes hero Geraint Jones has urged England to ignore the ‘persistent’ sledging from Australia and show why they deserve their place on the tour, with under two weeks to go until the first Test in Brisbane.
The former wicketkeeper shared his opinion that touring Australia represents one of the most hostile challenges to an international cricketer and it all stems from that closely-fought defeat to England back in 2005.
“When we got out to Australia, there was a big difference in the atmosphere between the two teams,” Jones said, speaking in his Betway blog.
“They’d had camps and, as a team, decided they weren’t going to be as friendly as they were in 2005.
“They made a point of not making the cricket game comfortable, and they did that very well.”
Taking their chance at redemption by reclaiming the urn with a 5-0 series victory in Australia in 2006/07, Jones says the upturn in sledging by the Aussies can have an affect if the player on the receiving end does not respond to it.
“They’re probably the most persistent,” Jones said of the Australians, “and as a whole group they do it together.”
“Playing in Australia, you know that you are going to hear them pretty much every ball, and pretty loudly. When you’re on strike, it’s your turn to get it.”
So how should the current England squad react when thrown into the cauldron of an Ashes Test?
“Every event you know about because of the noise that comes out,” says Jones.
“Thankfully for me, being in the middle, I couldn’t actually hear a lot compared to guys fielding on the boundary.
“But there’s no point trying to go up against 10,000 people in the crowd near. Your best option is to show that you’ve got a personality and that you’re out there enjoying it, playing a game you love.
“If you go the other way, it will just make it worse.”
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