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Australia vow a ruthless Ashes approach

Australia have vowed to take a more ruthless approach into the first Ashes Test starting on Wednesday, after taking their lessons from last summer’s capitulation to India.

The 2-1 series defeat to India marked the first time Australia had lost a home series after leading 1-0 since 1992-93.

They were also on top in the final two Tests in Sydney and Brisbane, before India held on for a draw and then chased down 329 to win on day five at the Gabba.

And players know that if they get on top of England this summer, they have to keep the advantage.

Australia will enter as favourites at the Gabba, where England have not won since 1986-87.

They are also unbeaten in pink-ball Tests, with the day-night game at the Adelaide Oval to follow in conditions that could still suit England more.

But regardless, Australia’s players know they cannot let the momentum slip if they gain it this summer.

“We got ourselves in positions where we could have won, particularly here (at the Gabba) and at the SCG,” vice-captain Steve Smith said.

“When we get in those positions it’s for us to really important for us to put our foot on the throat and not let a team back in.

“Especially against really quality teams like India, and England are the same.

“Once we get into a position where we are on top we need to be ruthless and get ourselves across the line.

“You can’t afford to give good players and good teams an opportunity to get back in the contest.”

Meanwhile, England will take India’s series win as an example of how to topple Australia at home.

India’s bowlers troubled Australia by giving them no room and bowling with legside fields, a tactic that was on show in England’s warm-up game last week.

Captain Joe Root indicated there was confidence taken from India’s win at the Gabba, making them the first team to beat Australia there in 32 years and potentially taking away some of the intimidation factor.

“A lot of teams have struggled in the past to get results here, (so) of course we will take confidence from that,” Root said.

“Credit to India they played exceptionally well through the whole series and in many ways set a good example for any touring team.

“We will lean on a few learnings from that series.

“But we also have to play to our strengths as well, we have to make sure we do things our way and grab the big moments through the series.

“That’s going to be key for us, managing pockets of play really well and trying to get on the right side of those big swings.”

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