<div class="img-caption-wrap "> <img alt="image_20131028115325" src="https://st2.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/cricket/image_20131028115325.jpg" title="image_20131028115325" /> <p class="imgcaptionnew" style="width:618px;"> Merv Hughes feels England are much better placed to win the Ashes 2013-14 © Getty Images</p> </div> <strong>Sydney: Oct 28, 2013</strong><br /> <br /> Former Test paceman <a href="/tags/Merv-Hughes/post" target="_blank">Merv Hughes</a> says he is dumbfounded by <a href="/tags/Australia/post" target="_blank">Australia</a>'s Ashes build-up and has given his countrymen little hope of beating England in the series starting next month.<br /> <br /> Hughes, a one-time selector, said he was incredulous that Australia were playing in a one-day series in India while <a href="/tags/England/post" target="_blank">England</a> were in Perth preparing for the Tests.<br /> <br /> The 17-man England squad arrived in the early hours of Friday and trained on Saturday ahead of their tour opener against Western Australia starting on Thursday.<br /> <br /> The former Test firebrand tipped Australia to lose a historic fourth straight Ashes series and declared that any success against the experienced England outfit was at least two years away.<br /> <br /> "I think they are really well placed," Hughes said on <em>Fairfax Radio</em> on Sunday when asked about England, who won the Ashes 3-0 on home soil in July and August.<br /> <br /> "I mean, they could be <a href="/tags/Australia-tour-of-India-2013/post" target="_blank">in India doing seven one-day games</a> preparing for the Ashes like the Australians are — what a great preparation that is.<br /> <br /> "I am just dumbfounded with England being in town and preparing for an Ashes that starts in about a month's time and Australia has got a team playing in India, playing in subcontinent conditions preparing for the Ashes."<br /> <br /> "So who's going to be better prepared come the first Test match? England appears to be doing everything right at the moment."<br /> <br /> Hughes said he was not optimistic about Australia's chances in the five-Test series, which starts at Brisbane's Gabba ground on November 21.<br /> <br /> "Our best chance of winning the Ashes is in England in two years' time," he said.<br /> <br /> "I think we're going to struggle because England have a well-settled side. They've got an experienced side."<br /> <br /> "They've got world-class players and, when we're still trying to find a formula for Australia to win, I think we're going to have to win all the tosses and play very good cricket."<br /> <br /> Australia, leading 2-1 in the one-day series in India, have had their past two matches abandoned because of rain.<br /> <br /> The last fixture in the seven-match series is on November 2, meaning the likes of Test hopefuls <a href="/tags/George-Bailey/post" target="_blank">George Bailey</a>, Phil Hughes, Adam Voges and <a href="/tags/Mitchell-Johnson/post" target="_blank">Mitchell Johnson</a> will not be available for the first round of the domestic Sheffield Shield competition this week.<br /> <br /> It means selectors have only limited chances to see players in action before the Brisbane Test.<br /> <br /> England are making the most of their long lead-in to the Ashes, flying out two left-armers — Tymal Mills and Harry Gurney to mimic the bowling of Johnson and Mitchell Starc.