Botham: Warner won't handle what Barmy Army has planned
DAVID Warner will not cope with the sledging from the Barmy Army during the upcoming Ashes series, Sir Ian Botham says.
The cricket legend said England would have the edge on home soil.
But he warned that Warner would struggle with the attention from the home English crowd as he returns from a 12-month ban for his role in the sandpaper ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
"The Barmy Army have already done about eight or nine songs - I think David Warner might feature a fair bit in those songs," Botham said.
"I'm not sure he will cope, that's going to be interesting, he didn't cope too well in grade cricket and that was from of all things Philip Hughes's brother Jason.
"He just walked off and it wasn't particularly aggressive. He's going to cop it."
Botham said the English side would start favourites for the Ashes, which begin in August.
"I would say 5-0, for Glenn McGrath I'd say 6-0 even though there are only five games," he said.
"I think England will win because they have a home advantage and I think the Australian boys will be copping it a fair bit."
And he took aim at the Kookaburra balls used in professional cricket in Australia.
Botham said that the English Dukes ball would improve the standard of the game.
"The things you use in Australia, I wouldn't feed it to my Jack Russell," he said.
"Your attack, our attack, they will both benefit from the Dukes ball. It comes on to the bat and it stays harder.
"If you gave both sides the choice they would probably go for the same ball."
Australia won the Ashes 4-0 in the last series played over the 2017/18 summer, but England won 3-2 when it was last played in the UK in 2015.
The Australian line-up will benefit from the return of Warner and former skipper Steve Smith, who were likely to walk back into their positions after serving their ball tampering bans.
The first Test will be played at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on August 1-5.
The cricket World Cup begins on May 30, with England taking on South Africa at The Oval in London.
Prince Harry will be among the crowd at the game, which kicks off more than six weeks of one-day cricket that will have more than 1 million people through the turnstiles.