Peter Siddle warned Australia's batsmen should be wary of facing James Anderson and Stuart Broad in what could be the England duo's "last crack" at the Ashes.
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting stoked the fires by saying England's top two strike bowlers are on a "steady decline" and "hanging on to a reasonably high level of performance" just over a week before the series starts at the Gabba.
Australia seamer Siddle, striving to force his way back into the Test side, said 35-year-old Anderson and Broad ,31, should not be written off.
He told Omnisport: "Anderson and Broad, it might be their last little crack at it, so they are going to be hungry and ready to go.
"We've got a lot of young players getting their first taste of it [the Ashes], which makes it exciting not only for the young guys but also the older boys in the group."
Steven Finn's tour is over soon after it started due to a knee injury, while Jake Ball is expected to be fit for the first Test in Brisbane despite damaging his ankle last week.
Siddle thinks the tourists have an attack more than capable of troubling Steve Smith's side with or without Ben Stokes, who was unable to fly out with his team-mates after being arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
"Their main guys have always been Anderson and Broad over the last probably five or six years, they are the key ones." Siddle added.
"Finn was sort of back-up for Stokes, so it's not as if he was in the initial squad. I don't think that's a massive loss for them.
"Then you have [Chris] Woakes, who has shown over the years in first-class cricket in England he is a very handy cricketer with bat and ball. I assume he's going to be the third bowler.
"I've played a lot of cricket with Jake Ball at Nottinghamshire, he's a good bloke and it's exciting for him to be on the trip.
"I think they have still got a solid line-up. At the moment with Stokes not here it does put a big hole in it, but you can't discount Anderson and Broad.
"They've taken 700, nearly 800 wickets combined so to have a bowling line-up like that to come up against we are going to have to be prepared."
20. März 2018
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