Jones issues verbal warning
England must not rise to the sledging bait if they are to win in Australia, says Simon Jones.
Last Updated: 03/11/10 10:26pm
Simon Jones has urged England to concentrate on their own game and not get involved in any verbal jousting during the Ashes.
England are defending the urn Down Under this winter, starting in Brisbane on November 25, but have not triumphed in Australia since the Mike Gatting-led tour of 1986/87.
Hampshire seamer Jones, part of England's Ashes success at home in 2005 before injuries derailed his career, has warned the tourists they must ignore all provocation.
"This winter it will be very important that they shut off from everything else that's happening around them," he said.
"I have been to Australia once (2002-03) and that tour was cut short (by a knee injury) but from the small time I experienced down there I came to realise that it is very intimidating.
"It's like they are playing with 12. They really do like to intimidate the opposition, get under their skin.
"We have a young, confident side and they will have to think on their feet very quickly if they are to deal with the crowd and the sledging."
Australia opener Shane Watson has already revealed England's rookie seamer Steven Finn will be one of the players to receive special attention from the hosts.
"I've no doubt that they will be targeting him," added Jones.
"They always go for the new lad but he is a tall lad who will get wickets.
"I think he needs to do more with the ball in terms of swinging it but that will come in time. This will be an amazing experience for him. It's his first major tour. I hope he learns. He is a great prospect."
Jones thinks England have a good chance of claiming a rare away success over their old rivals, particularly as Australia are now without retired bowling greats Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne.
"I still think they have a good attack but when you lose Warne and McGrath, you lose a pair that have about 1,200 wickets between them. That's a ridiculous amount of wickets," continued the Welshman.
"They used to be able to just throw them the ball and they would break up a partnership.
"It's the best chance we've had to win in a long time.
"Don't get me wrong, it's going to be hard work because the Australians fight hard, especially where England are concerned but England can win."