Former cricket legend Ian Botham has predicted that England [ Images ] would beat Australia [ Images ] in the battle for the Ashes with out-of-favour batsman Kevin Pietersen [ Images ] being one of the key trump cards.
"I think England will win the Ashes and I think they might win it in a bit of style. I do think they could win it by two Tests, which would be magnificent. There's a real chance of it," The Courier Mail quoted Botham, as saying.
"England's preparation is good - they have got at least a few (warm-up) games in Australia - and their team spirit is magnificent. They have had a very hard last couple of months here with everything that has been going on against Pakistan."
"They've come through that well, and Andrew Strauss [ Images ] as captain has conducted himself with dignity in a very tough time and that has rubbed off on the team. I think England will win it and I think they will win it well," he added.
The former captain further backs Pietersen to rebound strongly from being dropped from the squad for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan.
"Being left out will have hurt his pride, and quite rightly. I think you will find Kevin Pietersen will come back with a sting in the tail and Australia will be thinking that as well," Botham said.
The last time England won in Australia was when Mike Gatting captained them to a famous win in 1986-87.
The tour also has two Twenty20 [ Images ] clashes and a seven-match ODI series.