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Steve predicts Aussie win for Ashes decider

Waugh predicted that the embattled Aussies would show "clarity under pressure" to achieve a convincing win.

india Updated: Aug 31, 2005 13:28 IST

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh predicted the country's embattled cricketers would show "clarity under pressure" to achieve a convincing win in next week's deciding Ashes Test.

With a resurgent England holding a 2-1 lead and heavily favored to win the coveted urn held by Austalia since 1989, Waugh predicted that under-performing opening batsman Matthew Hayden would finally return to form when the final Text begins next Thursday.

"Knowing Matthew Hayden, who seems under the most pressure right now, he'd be desperate to reverse his form slump and show everyone that he is still a great player, and in my mind all it's going to take is one booming off-drive and his mindset will be reset, and it will be business as usual," Waugh wrote in a column in Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

Waugh, Test cricket's most successful captain, also called on selectors to bring leg-spinner Stuart MacGill into the side for the last Test at the Oval in London, a pitch that traditionally favours batsmen.

"He has the highest wickets per game of all the bowlers, always lifts in a Test match environment and would expose England's shaky techniques against leg spin," Waugh said.

"The Australians may well be more relaxed coming into the last Test because they only have one option and that is to win," he said.

"Clarity under pressure brings out the best in champions and the team is full of them."

"Mind you, England have many in the making, but all will be revealed shortly and we'll know whether the past couple of Tests have been a hiccup or a real glimpse into what lies ahead," he wrote.

"For what it is worth, I'm backing a convincing Australian victory," he said.

First Published: Aug 31, 2005 13:28 IST