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England 'not a very good team': Cowan

Former Test opener backs Australia to regain the Ashes urn this summer against England

Former Australia opener Ed Cowan has declared England are “not a very good team”, predicting the hosts to emerge triumphant in this coming summer’s Ashes series.

England currently sit one spot behind Steve Smith’s men at No.4 in the International Cricket Council’s Test rankings, and boast the world No.3 Test batsman in Joe Root and the No.5 and No.6 bowlers in James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

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However, Cowan believes with just "four good players", England will not be a match for Australia, who could boast the fearsome four-pronged pace attack of Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins in their quest to regain the urn.

"Absolutely," Cowan said on Fox Sports when asked if Australia could regain the Ashes.

"England are not a very good team. They’ve got four good players I reckon.

"And we’re going to have the best fast-bowling attack Australia’s seen since (Glenn) McGrath, (Brett) Lee and (Jason) Gillespie all bowled together."

Cowan played just one Ashes Test during his 18-match career in the Baggy Green, scoring a golden duck and 14 at Trent Bridge in 2013, and averaged 31 with the bat during his career.

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England are the current holders of the coveted urn having defeated Australia 3-2 in 2015 and have won five of the past seven Ashes campaigns. But those two losses have been historic whitewashes on Australian soil, in 2006-07 and 2013-14. 

They last won the Ashes in Australia in 2010-11, before being whitewashed three years later when Mitchell Johnson ran rampant to claim 37 wickets across the five-Test series.

The first Ashes Test will get underway at the Gabba on November 25, but Australia and England will do battle at least once before then, with the fierce rivals to meet in a Champions Trophy group match at Edgbaston on June 10.

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