Ashes 2015: Australia batsmen not as strong in England - Swann

Michael Clarke and James Anderson
Michael Clarke has scored 8,511 Test runs, James Anderson has taken 403 Test wickets
Flintoff and Vaughan's 2005 Ashes Roadshow
Date: Thursday, 25 June Time: 20:00 BST Where: BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website, Red Button, then on the BBC iPlayer for 30 days

This summer's Ashes series could be decided by the performance of Australia's batting line-up, says former England spinner Graeme Swann.

Australia were beaten 3-0 the last time they toured England, but were 5-0 victors at home in the 2013-14 series.

Swann, part of BBC Test Match Special's ball-by-ball commentary team, said: "I don't think the Australian batting line-up in England is as strong.

"Nearly all of their batsmen struggled when we beat them here in 2013."

Swann, who took 255 wickets in 60 Tests, also believes the teams' fast bowlers will have important roles to play.

The 36-year-old said: "England have James Anderson and Stuart Broad, Australia have Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris.

"Whichever pair is more prolific will give their team a very good chance."

Johnson and Harris have taken a combined 404 wickets in 93 Tests, while Anderson and Broad have taken 690 in 183.

Ashes Tests
First Test: Cardiff - 8-12 July
Second Test: Lord's - 16-20 July
Third Test: Edgbaston - 29 July - 2 August
Fourth Test: Trent Bridge - 6-10 August
Fifth Test: The Oval - 20-24 August
Don't miss a ball on BBC 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website.

Swann believes England captain Alastair Cook will look to add elements of the one-day team's dynamic approach to the Test side.

Cook was not involved as England beat New Zealand 3-2 in a limited-overs series characterised by a new-found adventure from the hosts.

"I don't know how much of the aggressive style of the one-day team will eke into the Test set-up," said Swann, a three-time Ashes winner.

"But Cook will need to glean whatever he can from that one-day squad and try to get those good points into the Test team.

"That's not teeing off from ball one, but taking on the opposition head-on."

Additional Ashes coverage on 5 live

Follow the Ashes on the BBC

Test Match Special will have live coverage of every ball of the series on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and at bbc.co.uk/cricket.

You can follow it wherever you are, with commentary on your mobile or tablet via the BBC Sport App.

In addition, there will be a range of special programmes bringing you insight, wit and wisdom, including:

  • Special Flintoff & Vaughan Ashes Roadshow
  • Greg James is back with Not Just Cricket
  • Three Graeme Swann Ashes Roadshows
  • Six brand new Ashes specials
  • Pint-sized Ashes and 6-Duck-6 return
  • BBC One editions of Ashes Question of Sport and Pointless

Schedule

Thursday, 25 June

Flintoff & Vaughan's 05 Ashes Roadshow (20:00-22:00)

Tuesday, 30 June

The Art of Captaincy (21:00-22:30)

Wednesday, 1 July

Smug Pommie Cheat - The Ashes Propaganda War (21:30-22:30)

Monday, 6 July

The Great Ashes Pub Quiz (20:00:-21:00)

Tuesday, 7 July

Big Ashes Preview with Mark Chapman from Cardiff (20:00-22:30)

Previewing the first Test, which starts on 8 July in Cardiff

Saturday, 11 July

Michael Vaughan's 6-Duck-6: The former England captain takes your calls after the fourth day's play of the first Test

Saturday, 18 July

Not Just Cricket with Greg James: Cricket banter with players past and present (09:00-11:00)

Michael Vaughan's 6-Duck-6: The former England captain takes your calls after the third day's play of the second Test

Saturday, 25 July

Not Just Cricket with Greg James: Cricket banter with players past and present (09:00-11:00)

Voices of Summer (time TBC)

Monday, 27 July

Graeme Swann's Ashes Roadshow at Moseley CC (time TBC)

Previewing the third Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham, which starts on 30 July

Saturday, 1 August

Not Just Cricket with Greg James: Cricket banter with players past and present (09:00-11:00)

Michael Vaughan's 6-Duck-6: Former England captain takes your calls after the fourth day's play of the third Test

Sunday, 2 August

Our Amazing Grace (time TBC)

BBC Bristol documentary on the legendary WG Grace

Tuesday, 4 August

Graeme Swann's Ashes Roadshow, West Bridgford (time TBC)

Previewing the fourth Test at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, which starts on 6 August

Friday, 7 August

Richie Benaud BBC Radio 4 documentary (Time TBC)

Saturday, 8 August

Not Just Cricket with Greg James: Cricket banter with players past and present 09:00-11:00

Michael Vaughan's 6-Duck-6: Former England captain takes your calls after the third day of the fourth Test (20:00-21:00)

Tuesday, 18 August

Graeme Swann's Ashes Roadshows (Location and time TBC)

Preview of the final Test at The Oval, which starts on 20 August

NB: Other programmes will be announced when details are confirmed.

Programmes and start times are subject to change.

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