Pieterson and Flintoff hold Ashes key, says Tendulkar

The eagerly-awaited series between England and Australia begins in Cardiff July 8, with the home side seen as the underdogs to regain the coveted urn.

But Tendulkar is predicting it to be a closely fought series with England beating the Australians at home four years ago.

According to the Indian genius, Flintoff - who made a surprise return to action this week after knee surgery - and Pietersen are the best bets for England.

"One thing I can tell you is it's going to be an exciting series because last time the Ashes took place in England it was one of the best series I've ever witnessed," Tendulkar was quoted as saying in Sky Sports.

"It was a treat for any cricket lover to watch and I don't see any difference this time. It's going to be closely fought.

"England obviously will heavily rely on a couple of players who are in my mind Pietersen and Flintoff and the rest of the players will have to deliver.

"But those two will be the key players."

Though the Australians are already out of the current World Twenty20 tournament, Tendulkar has warned against under-estimating the Baggy Greens.

"The Australians have some aggressive attacking players and a good well-balanced bowling attack," he said.

"On the whole it will be a terrific series to watch but it would be unwise to give my judgment having not played against them in the past couple of months."

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