Selector Waugh feels India tour way too long

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Former Australian captain Waugh, at the helm in 57 Tests for 41 victories, said England will not be the same threat without Stokes.

Stokes made his Test debut for England during their last tour of Australia and if he does play in the first Test this time around, will likely join Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, Joe Root and Alastair Cook as "survivors" from that tour.

While Stokes would leave a chasm at number six in England's batting line-up, Waugh's brother Mark confirmed there are places in the middle order still up for grabs for the Ashes after Australia could only draw 1-1 against Bangladesh in their last Test series.

"I think they (England selectors) are pretty keen for him to play in Australia... he's probably their best player, so it would be a real shame if he's not out here".

"If he doesn't come, I don't think they can win the Ashes", Waugh told Sky Sports Radio late Tuesday.

Apart from this, he said that he expects the crowds to be hostile and to get stuck into Ben Stokes if he takes the field, much like the way the English crowds treat Australia up in England.

The Ashes contingent will have three Sheffield Shield fixtures starting on October 26th to get used to the red ball before heading to the Gabba on November 23rd to begin the world's most renowned Test series.

Australia's domestic tournament, the JLT one-day cUP, has already started and has seen many top players missing out on it due to worldwide duties.

Waugh revealed selectors were hoping to fill the No.6 position with a batsman who can bowl part-time. "But I think theyre coping pretty well". Obviously Steven Smith going home might be a blessing in disguise, a bit of a freshen-up. He's got a heavy workload, as do a lot of the players. I'm not calling it an allrounder, probably more a batting allrounder. "We'll be right. Those three Shield matches will have us in good stead for the Ashes".

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