Former Australian bowler Merv Hughes has said that he feels the toss has been a deciding factor in this Ashes series but admitted England had deserved to win the series.
England and Australia began the fifth Test at the Oval today with the home side comfortable 3-0 up after wins in Durham, Nottingham and at Lord’s.
Hughes doesn’t believe there has been a major difference between the two sides with a lot of it coming down to the toss of the coin.
“It’s interesting, if you had a look at all the statistics, the runs and the wickets, you wouldn’t think it was a 3-0 result at this stage,” said Hughes before the fifth Test.
“A lot comes down to the toss of the coin. England have won three tosses and three games.”
“Just had a look at the wicket out here [the Oval] and it’s going to be very, very hard to win the game if you don’t win the toss.
“It’s going to be good batting for the first two days and then it’s going to get harder and harder, so runs on the board is going to be very important, we’ve seen that in all the Test matches.”
Hughes believes Australia will take a lot of positives from the series despite defeat and wants to see them win to give them confidence going into the first Test at Brisbane in three months time.
“I think they will have taken a lot of positives from the first Test match, certainly the Old Trafford Test match and even at Durham they probably got themselves into a winning position.
“There’s been a lot of positives taken out of it. To win a Test match, yes Australia would take a lot of positives from that but with the series over and the Ashes remaining in England it doesn’t really matter.”
The formidable Australian, who took over 200 Test wickets, including 75 Ashes dismissals, predicted that Australia would win the toss, bat and win the game – Clarke obliging by winning the toss and batting under the sun at the Oval.
“Whoever wins the toss is more likely to win the game. I’ll go with Michael Clarke calling correctly, they haven’t been that far away, and to lose this 4-0 would be hard to take. To lose it 3-0 would be tough but if we go home with a 3-1 result that’d be nice.
Hughes believes it will be tough again for Australia on home soil this winter as England attempt to win a fourth consecutive Ashes series.
“It’s going to be tough for Australia. We’ve seen that if they win the toss they can be competitive but we’ll have to win a lot of toss of the coins over there and a lot of things will have to go right for Australia to win.
“I just think England have got the more settled and better side at the moment and it’s going to be tough for the Australians.
“Having said that, tough doesn’t mean it’s a certainty for England, if England don’t play well then Australia might be able to sneak it,” he added.
Merv Hughes was speaking at the launch of Masuri’s groundbreaking new Vision Series helmet. Masuri are setting new standards in cricket helmet safety. To keep up to date with all the news, and enter some great competitions, follow @MasuriOfficial on Twitter or like their Facebook page – facebook.com/MasuriHelmets