Ex-England skipper Michael Vaughan thinks South Africa are a much bigger test for his former side than Australia.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan admits that the Ashes is an exciting series but if England really want to be regarded as the best side in the world they have to beat South Africa.
While there will be a lot of hype around the back-to-back Ashes series’ in England and Australia in 2013, Vaughan is keen to stress that the Australians are ranked fourth in the world and his former side need to be beating the No.1 team.
“In this era South Africa are the benchmark,” Vaughan wrote in his Telegraph column.
“In my time it was about beating Australia. Winning the Ashes means a lot to English players, fans and the media. But Australia are fourth in the world. England’s aim is to be No.1.”
Since becoming the top Test side in the world in 2011 England have failed to really perform in the five-day game, winning just five of their last 18 Tests and losing their place to South Africa.
Whilst the Three Lions struggled in their recent series against eighth-placed New Zealand, narrowly avoiding defeat with a tense batting display in the final Test, South Africa whitewashed Pakistan in their home series and are dominating world cricket.
The Proteas have the number one Test batsman, bowler and all-rounder in the ICC rankings and dominate all three lists with eight players altogether – more than any other Test nation.
Whereas England’s Ashes opponents Australia endured their worst series performance in over 32 years this month when they were whitewashed 4-0 by India in their five-day series.