Arthur’s comments are likely to draw the ire of the English media who, given Australia’s poor showing in recent matches, are already predicting a whitewash victory for their side.
“I honestly believe we can win the Ashes – we have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket,” said Arthur to the BBC, a statement that was put to Australian captain, Michael Clarke, soon afterward.
“It doesn’t matter how good your bowlers are if you don’t put enough runs on the board,” Clarke told reporters on a barge near London’s Tower Bridge.
“We know we have to play very well as a team to have success over here.”
Australia’s batting woes, even on home pitches during the last summer, look set to be compounded by a historic weakness in playing swing bowling. England’s more overcast climate, greener pitches and Duke balls are all likely to ensure plenty of movement both in the air and off the deck.
Cricket Australia’s poor Champions Trophy campaign – which saw the defending champions bow out of the tournament without winning a game – has also been mired by off-field indiscretions. Opening batsman David Warner was suspended during the Champions Trophy for punching English batsman, Joe Root, during a late night drinking session in an Australian themed pub in Birmingham.
Michael Clarke, who has been Australia’s consistently best batsman for the last two years also hasn’t played a competitive game since February and missed the disastrous Champions Trophy campaign with a lingering back injury.
“My back is feeling better at the moment,” the 32-year-old Clarke said.
“There’s still obviously a few days before that first practice game down in Taunton but if all goes to plan I’ll be playing in that game.”