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‘No need for England to panic’

Michael Vaughan has urged England to keep their heads after a huge 267-run loss in the third Test at Perth saw Australia level the Ashes at 1-1.


Vaughan, England’s Ashes-winning captain on home soil in 2005, has said now is not the time for wholesale changes.

But he believes England need to win the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne because Sydney, the venue for the fifth and final Test, will favour Australia.

And Vaughan said England had to give off-spinner Graeme Swann more overs come Melbourne.

“I don’t think they will panic. I don’t think there will be be changes,” Vaughan told BBC Radio Five’s Sportsweek programme.

“I’m sure England will come back. It just depends on the pitch. If the pitch is slow at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) I am sure England will fancy it.

“I think England will have to win at the MCG because I do think the Sydney ground will have some pace in it.”

Vaughan would like to see Swann bowl more overs in Melbourne and has also backed batsman Ian Bell to move up the order.

Swann bowled nine overs in the second Australia innings as the hosts ran up 309 to set up a run chase which England never looked like achieving.

“Graeme Swann bowled nine overs, the number one spin bowler in the world,” Vaughan said.

“With the four man attack Graeme Swann is the key.”

On Bell, Vaughan added: “He’s playing too well to bat at number six. Maybe put him to five. Bell to five and (Paul) Collingwood to six would be the only change from this game.”

England fast bowler Stuart Broad, who will miss the rest of the series because of a stomach muscle injury suffered in the second Test at Adelaide, believes Andrew Strauss’s men, who hold the Ashes, remain in a strong position.

“It’s important we show some fight at the MCG and it’s important to remember it’s 1-1 and England are in the box seat,” he said.

“Complacency is not a thing you like to get into a changing room. I don’t think that crept in, I think Australia bowled really well and showed a lot of fight in this Test match.”

England have not won a Test series in Australia since 1986/87.

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