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Balanced England can win Ashes, says du Plessis

Cricket - South Africa Nets & Press Conference - London, Britain - July 25, 2017 South Africa's Faf du Plessis during nets Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge
Cricket - South Africa Nets & Press Conference - London, Britain - July 25, 2017 South Africa's Faf du Plessis during nets Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Couldridge

(Reuters) - England have the right balance to beat Australia at this year's Ashes series, South Africa captain Faf du Plessis has said after his team's 3-1 series defeat by Joe Root's side.

Hosts England completed their series victory with a 177-run win at Old Trafford on Monday in a keenly contested series.

Australia will host England for five tests in one of the world's most famous sporting rivalries with the first match beginning on Nov. 23 in Brisbane.

England's opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad is expected to bear most of the burden of keeping Australia's batsmen in reins and the pace duo received a lot of praise from du Plessis.

"If you have assistance and skill, which England's bowlers have, you can target Australia's batting line-up," du Plessis told the BBC.

"They are relentless and our batting line-up wasn't strong enough for them.

"Australia have fiery and quick batsmen so England will need to get through them. (But) I think England could be Ashes winners. They have a balanced team."

Du Plessis captained his side to a famous 2-1 series victory Down Under last year, prompting wholesale changes in the Australian squad under Steve Smith.

The 33-year-old said England would have an even better chance of succeeding if the wickets provide some assistance to the quicker bowlers.

"I think it's dependent on the conditions," du Plessis said.

"I've always felt Australia as a team play really well on flat wickets, bouncy flat wickets, (but) if the conditions allow a bit of seam and swing and spin, then I think England will be favourites."

(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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