England now clear favourites to win Ashes: Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan (AFP Photo)

Former captain Michael Vaughan believes England are “clear favourite” to win the upcoming Ashes because of ECB’s decision to revert to older Dukes ball.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) last week decided not to use this summer’s batch of underwhelming Dukes cricket balls and revert to a batch from last year or 2017, which had a more pronounced seam.

“I now have England as clear favourite to win the Ashes series but there is so much time between now and then that you don’t know who is going to be fit on both sides,” Sydney Morning Herald quoted Vaughan as saying.

Vaughan said the return of Steve Smith and David Warner and the bowling attack has bolstered Australia‘s chances, but the change of ball could ultimately prove to be a telling blow for the visitors.

“In English conditions, this ball was a massive thing for the (England) team. To use the Duke this year, it’s got no seam, it’s not been swinging around in county cricket, it comes down to real pace and spin and you would say if it comes down to a pace and spin contest, Australia probably has got the edge,” he said.