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Australia the real challenge, says upbeat Hussain


LONDON, March 20 (AFP) - England captain Nasser Hussain is not getting carried away with four Test series victories on the run and still believes the real challenge lies ahead when they tackle Australia this summer.

Hussain flew into England early Tuesday following the 2-1 Test series win over Sri Lanka and will have treatment for the groin injury that has kept him out of the one-day internationals.

He said: "I am a big one for stats and the stats say we have not done well against Australia. Just because we win four on the bounce does not mean we are closer to Australia. We will find out in the summer.

"Our fielding leaves a lot to be desired. Our fitness levels could be better, our catching could be better. We still have a lot of work to do.

"We are playing some good cricket and we want to be the best we can be. It is not about rankings. The last four series show what we can do."

Hussain reflected on the upcoming series against Pakistan and the Aussies: "We just need to rest up, get mentally awake and get our thoughts right.

"I'm sure our coach Duncan Fletcher will be thinking about Pakistan and Australia. Basically we need to keep things simple. That is the secret."

After saluting his team for their win over Sri Lanka, Hussain said: "Captains are only as good as their teams and I could not have asked for more from my team.

"I am disappointed to be here and not over there with my team. Every time we asked for that final effort they responded. They wanted to play - all 11 of them.

"It's nice that things are going well. If things can go well in the summer there will be a real buzz as there was when we were beating West Indies."

Asked about the controversy that plagued the opening two Tests in Sri Lanka, Hussain said: "There were certain things that happen that were beyond the control of players.

"But we have a governing body and the ICC to take care of that. All we can do is play the cricket that we've played this winter.







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