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Broad and Anderson will hold the key for England in Ashes, says Harmison
The Ashes

Broad and Anderson will hold the key for England in Ashes, says Harmison

James Anderson and Stuart Broad will hold the key to England's chances in Ashes this summer, according to former paceman Steve Harmison.

The oldest rivalry between two sides kicks off at Edgbaston on Thursday, with Australia aiming to win the series for the first time in 18 years.

But Harmison, who was a part of successful Ashes campaign in 2005, said England had their trump cards in Broad and Anderson.

"The two pace attacks are different in dynamics, out-and-out pace against experience," Harmison told Britain's Press Association at an event organised by Ashes sponsors Specsavers.

"Australia have bowlers who can blast you away -- Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood.

"But if they don't get it quite right they can go at six an over. Broad and Anderson will very rarely go at six an over.

"They'll be down on pace compared to the opposition, but they'll have total control of what they're doing."

Harmison said it was important to have the experience of Broad and Anderson rather than having an express pace bowler in the side.

"Broad and Anderson are still the first two names on the teamsheet for me, because in English conditions it's still better to have their experience than any 90-miles-per-hour bowler."

‘Return of Smith and Warner will help Australia’

Anderson, who is England's leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, had to miss out the inaugural Test against Ireland but is expected to participate in the Ashes opener.

Jofra Archer was also named in the squad despite having a side strain but he’ll be providing the extra element of pace to back up Broad and Anderson.

Australia’s batting has been a bit fragile and the onus will be on Smith and Warner to provide much needed stability in tough batting conditions.

"David Warner and Steve Smith coming back (from suspension) helps Australia, but there are question marks over their middle order," said Harmison.

"That's what makes this series so interesting, and England's middle order could make that 70-80 run difference.

"I don't think it's going to be a series of high quality as the two teams are not as good as their white-ball sides.

"But sometimes that lack of quality can make for a better series. England are slight favourites with the home advantage, but I see it a lot closer than people think. I take England to win by the odd game."