Australia's former skipper Steve Waugh, who is a philanthropist providing seriously ill children and their families with hope and comfort, has said it will be tough to wrestle the Ashes from England.
Australia still boasts a good team, but Waugh believes some of their competitors have caught them. Most importantly, he insists, children with rare illnesses need a voice to speak for them.
Waugh predicted that Australia should win the coming Ashes series, but it won't be easy, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
"Right now it's an even-money call. The Aussies are slightly favourites because it's being played in Australia. They'll lift. They're up against a very good side. England has developed, they don't play with hesitation; there has been a significant shift in how they play," he said.
"Have they adopted an Australian approach? That's always going to happen, the dominant team shapes the cricket of that era and the way it is played, just as the West Indies did," Waugh said.
"While I was in England, I caught up with the guys [Australia], I saw the last one-dayer in Lord's and they had warmed to the task. I think they were a bit cold in the first three [lost] games, maybe as a result of not having played many games during the lead-in.
"I think we're seeing in world cricket a levelling out of the teams. Australia needs to work hard to maintain its position because there are teams playing with a similar style and abilities," Waugh added.