Sir Ian Botham has stuck by his assertion that England will whitewash Australia in this winter's Ashes series, and says the holders of the urn are in a 'very healthy position' going into the series.
The first Test gets underway in Brisbane exactly a week today, with England entering into the contest having triumphed in each past two Ashes series, and four of the last five.
England's last triumph, of course, came only in the summer of this year, with Alastair Cook's side securing a 3-0 victory on home soil, and Botham sees no reason why this pattern should change down under.
Only once before have England managed to win four consecutive series against Australia, with these series in question the first four in Ashes history, and Cook's side could make history this winter.
Botham, a Laureus World Sports Academy Member, is confident glory will be England's once again this time out, and believes their batsmen will thrive in the flat tracks in Australia.
"England won 3-0 so I don't think they've got to do too much," Botham told GiveMeSport in an exclusive interview at the Fortress Hotel in Galle during Beefy's Big Sri Lanka Walk 2013.
"England will go with the proven and tested first. I think the top seven will all enjoy playing in Australia on the quicker and bouncier wickets. I don't have any problems, I think England are in a very healthy position."
As is the norm, England have come in for criticism from the Australian press and former wearers of the baggy green since their arrival, with Shane Warne in particular taking aim at the captaincy style of Cook.
Botham, though, does not believe the touring players will take any notice of the barbs directed at them, and says he would much rather be in the England squad than the Australia one right now.
"If someone like Warney tries to bait them, I would say just think what camp you would rather be in. I think that most players, at the moment, would rather be in the England camp," he added.
"England are fine, they're in a very healthy position. They've got very strong coaching staff and they've got some very strong characters in that team.
"Australia dominated for 15 years and we had to walk around with our tail between our legs, so I'm enjoying it. Long may it last."
Check out GiveMeSport tomorrow for part two of our exclusive with Sir Ian Botham, where he will be discussing team selection for the first Ashes Test.
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