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England’s bowling stocks are grim

Ronan O'Connell Columnist

By Ronan O'Connell, Ronan O'Connell is a Roar Expert

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    England fought harder in this Ashes than they did during their 5-0 humiliation five years ago, but what this series exposed is their awful lack of bowling options.

    England’s management must be disturbed by the fact the only bowler who was effective this summer was 35-year-old James Anderson, a cricketer in the twilight days of his Test career.

    The other seven bowlers they used in this series – Stuart Broad, Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Craig Overton, Jake Ball and Mason Crane – combined to average 65 with the ball. That is a sickening stat for England.

    The inability of their attack to adapt to foreign conditions is the key reason England have one of the worst away records in Test cricket in recent years. Since the start of the last Ashes in Australia, England have won just four of their 27 Tests away from home.

    If that isn’t bad enough, England’s bowling stocks look worse than ever due to the steady decline of Anderson’s long-time new ball partner Broad.

    The 31-year-old’s struggles extend well beyond this Ashes. Not only he has averaged 38 with the ball across his past 17 Tests, but during this period his strike rate has ballooned out to 80, compared to 57 over the remainder of his career.

    The tall right armer is still capable of bowling tidy spells but has lost his penetration, reminiscent of the decline of former Australian Test quick Peter Siddle.

    England would have hoped Broad could lead their attack for a few years after Anderson retired. Now it looks like his Test career could potentially terminate before Anderson’s.

    England bowler Stuart Broad during a bowling spell on Day 4 of the First Test match between Australia and England at the Gabba in Brisbane, Sunday, November 26, 2017.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Meanwhile, the man who has long been touted as Anderson’s successor, Chris Woakes, has again been exposed as a home track bully.

    Woakes averaged 50 with the ball across four Tests in this series and has a horrendous bowling average of 56 in his 11 Tests away from home. Among the top 30 ranked Test bowlers in the world, no one has a bigger gap between their home and away averages than Woakes’ margin of 31 runs.

    It astounds me how little criticism Woakes receives from the English media and fans for consistently going missing away from home. There seems to be a delusion he is a world-class cricketer.

    The reality is that in his last eight Tests he’s taken 15 wickets at 57 at an extraordinary strike rate of 111. Even in his last game in cozy home conditions he laboured, taking 2-122 against the hapless West Indies.

    About to turn 29 years old, Woakes is not a youngster anymore – he is two years older than Josh Hazlewood, yet is not even close to matching the all-conditions consistency of the Australian seamer.

    Given that many Test quicks are past their best by 31 or 32 years old – Broad being a prime example – Woakes may already be as good as he’s ever going to be.

    In traditional English conditions he is a quality bowler, but take away the Dukes ball and bowler-friendly pitches and he becomes a trundler.

    Woakes is not a man to build your attack around. But then again neither is Ball or Curran, or any of the other quicks England have used in Tests recently.

    There is a lot of hype in England around Mark Wood, mainly because he is the only bowler England have used in Tests in recent years who can consistently exceed 140kmh.

    But Wood is as injury prone as James Pattinson, without possessing nearly as much talent. With a bowling average of 41 from ten Tests, Wood gives no cause for excitement beyond his pace. Another man we would have seen in Australia this summer if not for injury is Toby Roland-Jones.

    He made his Test debut this past English summer and started impressively, taking 17 wickets at 20 from four matches – two against the West Indies and two against South Africa. Roland-Jones has his downsides too.

    Firstly, he turns 30 this month and secondly he offers nothing different to most of the other quicks England have tried.

    Roland-Jones is your typical English seamer, bowling at an easy pace in the 130-135kmh bracket and relying on sideways movement to trouble batsmen. He could prove valuable in English conditions, but there is nothing about him which suggests he can succeed elsewhere.

    Of the emerging quicks England used in this Ashes, only Overton looks like he has a Test future.

    With an average of 114 after four Tests, Ball is one of the worst paceman I’ve ever seen play for England.

    Curran, meanwhile, has a great attitude but is short, slow through the air, doesn’t get much movement or bounce, and looks much better suited to white ball cricket.

    England’s pace bowling stocks are truly grim. Yet they’re still better than their spin options. Despite averaging 40 with the ball across 49 Tests, and a whopping 115 in this Ashes, Moeen Ali will continue to get picked as England’s sole spinner more often than not due to their obsession with batting deep.

    England's Moeen Ali lifted up by his team mates

    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

    Mason Crane made his debut at the SCG and, while he is greatly gifted for a 20-year-old, the leggie served up constant loose deliveries en route to taking 1-193.

    He looks at least three-to-four years away from being ready to be a first choice Test spinner. The only other spinner England have given repeated opportunities to in recent years is 29-year-old leggie Adil Rashid.

    In the short term he is a better option than Crane. But during his ten Tests, in which he’s averaged 43 with the ball, Rashid’s shown little to suggest he can become a quality Test spinner.

    Which all means that, aside from 35-year-old Anderson, England do not possess a single bowler who looks close to becoming a cricketer of the quality of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins or Nathan Lyon.

    They will have to hope Anderson keeps soldiering on, carrying the heavy load that is the England Test attack.

    Ronan O
    Ronan O'Connell

    Ronan O'Connell has been a journalist for well over 13 years, including nine at daily newspapers in WA. He now traverses the world as a travel photojournalist, contributing words and photography to more than 30 magazines and newspapers including CNN, BBC, The Toronto Star, The Guardian, The South China Morning Post, The Irish Examiner and The Australian Financial Review. Check out his work and follow him on Twitter @ronanoco

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    The Crowd Says (121)

    • Roar Pro

      January 10th 2018 @ 5:41am
      Saurabh said | January 10th 2018 @ 5:41am | ! Report

      Overton did show the promise so did Tom Curran but you cannot expect someone who is playing 1st or 2nd test to make the mark straightway.Broad,Woakes were disappointed considering their previous experience of playing on Australian soil.But with Steve Finn,Toby Roland Jones,Mark Wood on the benches there is no much to worry for England.James Anderson still is leader of pack no doubt but Broad is quite capable to lead .Adil Rashid isn’t given enough exposure to prove his mettle as a test bowler.Mason Crane did show the promise but yeah far from being No.1 bowler.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 1:34pm
        Sam said | January 10th 2018 @ 1:34pm | ! Report

        What promise did Curran show? He bowled with the same level of impotency as Broad, Woakes, and Broad.

        • Roar Guru

          January 11th 2018 @ 8:18am
          Chris Kettlewell said | January 11th 2018 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          I suppose the promise he showed is that he can turn it and he’s only 20. Spinners generally take longer than that to come through. And even Shane Warne went 1-150 on his test debut, so a debut like that doesn’t necessarily mean that he can’t still be a quality test bowler. (Neither does it mean that he will be!)

          • January 11th 2018 @ 7:49pm
            Steve Squires said | January 11th 2018 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

            Sam said Curran not Crane, but along the same lines Curran is only 22 so he could still improve a lot.

    • January 10th 2018 @ 5:55am
      Taurangaboy said | January 10th 2018 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      You forget Ben Stokes. He’s quite good.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 9:29am
        paul said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        so England can base a 4 man bowling attack around one guy and be competitive in conditions world wide?

        • January 10th 2018 @ 10:34am
          jameswm said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

          around one guy who is not currently eligible you mean?

      • January 10th 2018 @ 11:11am
        Jake said | January 10th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        No, he’s not really. Cummins is better all-rounder than that thug.

        • January 11th 2018 @ 7:27pm
          FunBus said | January 11th 2018 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

          Can’t really see Cummins smashing the SA attack around in SA for 256.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 11:38am
        Liam said | January 10th 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

        And might be in jail.

        Can’t plan around someone who has a case to answer that could see him going to prison.

    • January 10th 2018 @ 6:31am
      jamesb said | January 10th 2018 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      I suspect that once he qualifies to play for England that Jofra Archer will get his chance. Can bowl over 140 and can bat.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 7:22am
        Nudge said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:22am | ! Report

        That’s what the Poms do. If they can’t find a local, head to RSA, Zimbabwe, Australia New Zealand or the West Indies and see if they can find a high Quality cricketer who has a second Aunty, cousin etc that was born in England. They have found an absolute ripper in Archer.

        • January 10th 2018 @ 9:25am
          Stuart Bywater said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:25am | ! Report

          Hi Nudge, I get your frustration but it is often the players (managers) that seek UK contracts. Many are born in the “colonies” but migrated to England at an early age. Players such as the Currans are virtual refugees from Zimbabwe. No doubt some of the South Africans feel they are in a similar situation. The residency/qualification rules apply equally to all nations and all nations contact players (managers). If it improves cricket quality then why not.
          Andrew Symonds was a teenager when he emigrated to Australia. Matt Renshaw was born in Yorkshire, moved with his family to New Zealand at 7, and then to Australia at age 10. Stokes was 16 when he signed with the Durham academy. Malan was born in Roehampton, London but brought up in South Africa, where he made his first class debut.

          Players such as Craig White of Yorkshire and England via Victoria, and Alan Mullally of Hampshire and England via WA saw it as their best chance of Test selection. and contributed accordingly. White’s selection for Yorkshire caused some consternation as the unwritten rule had been Yorkshire born and bred. White was only the former. Craig White’s sister is married to Darren Lehmann so Jake qualifies for English selection.

          Just as an interesting aside: Gordon Greenidge spoke with a broad Lancashire accent as his parents had emigrated to England when he was seven.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 9:45am
            Nudge said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

            Fair enough Stuart. It’s just frustrating because it wrecks world cricket. Archer is a West Indian and is available to play for WI right now. You reckon they couldn’t do with a guy who bowls 145 and has a first class average of 37. And he’s only 22 years old. You reckon Zimbabwe couldn’t do with Gary Balance? What if Stokes was playing for New Zealand? They would be a force to be reckoned with. Malan is from RSA but they can still produce other or even better cricketers. The poms need to stay away from recruiting players from minnow nations

            • January 10th 2018 @ 10:12am
              Stuart Bywater said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

              Hi Nudge,
              I agree with you in principle. I would love to see the WI resemble their sides of the seventies, eighties and early nineties. A Zimbabwe team of similar strength to the one with Heath Streak, Murray Goodwin, Grant and Andy Flower. Perhaps a part solution would be to allow players to return to Tier 2 nations if no longer selected for their Tier 1 nation (e,g,Kepler Wessels).

              NZ was ranked above Australia before the Ashes. Stokes first played first class cricket for Durham as an 18 year old. I am not sure how old he was when he went to the UK but he was 16 or younger.

              Players have careers of 10-15 years and hope to increase their income by playing year round. Non-test players in League cricket are encouraged to nominate for England (so they do not count as an imported player) and use their UK passport (to avoid needing a visa).

              The players have to agree to play for their nominated country.

              I agree Archer is a disappointing and curious case. He does not qualify for England until 2022/23 but presumably would be selected immediately for the WI. Perhaps an appeal system is needed for aggrieved team (WI/Barbados)

              • January 10th 2018 @ 10:20am
                Don Freo said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                The biggest problem for WI is that the board seems to keep any money and doesn’t pay its players unless they strike or go to court.

                3 years for Archer is nothing. One year playing for England will earn him the same as a career for the Windies would generate.

                ICC needs to take over administration of player contracts from some these cot case administrations.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 11:51am
                Rob said | January 10th 2018 @ 11:51am | ! Report

                Brendan Nash.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 2:34pm
                Gharner said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

                In a parallel universe, Zimbabwe’s team looks something like this:

                Masakadza
                Ballance
                Taylor
                Cartwright
                S.Ervine
                C.Ervine
                Raza
                Cremer
                S.Curran
                T.Curran
                Jarvis

                A lot more competitive but still no world beaters, and a number of players nearing retirement. It’s a long way back for Zimbawe, if they ever get back.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 2:58pm
                Targa said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

                Plus Colin de Grandhomme who’s one of the best allrounders in the world

              • Columnist

                January 10th 2018 @ 3:02pm
                Ronan O'Connell said | January 10th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Bit early to be calling CDG one of the best Test all-rounders in the world – he’s only played 8 Tests and they’ve all been at home in conditions which suit him way more than would conditions in Australia/India/SL/Bang/UAE/Windies.

                Also 6 of his 8 Tests have been against teams who are very weak away from home these days – Windies, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 6:15pm
                Bakkies said | January 10th 2018 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

                Pakistan drew a test series in England.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 7:24pm
                Simoc said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:24pm | ! Report

                These guys don’t give a stuff except officially. The fun and money in cricket is in T20 and after that the Ashes is big in Australia and England. The West Indies, and other countries play lip service to test cricket which is mainly for the benefit of senile old men and ex cricketers. How boring was that MCG test. Its called “Keeping up Appearances” for the has beens. There are so few decent contests but so many with their snouts in the trough.

            • Roar Guru

              January 10th 2018 @ 10:15am
              Paul D said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

              Nothing new, Australia has been gutting the Pacific Islands of rugby talent for years

              Archer has an English dad and a Barbadian mother. You can’t blame him for not wanting to play for the Windies either, they’re a basket case. Fancy having to hang round walking egos like Pollard and Russell all day.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 10:37am
                jameswm said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

                Who has Australia poached from Pac Islands countries?

                How many Pac Islanders are playing for England or NZ?

              • Roar Guru

                January 10th 2018 @ 1:33pm
                spruce moose said | January 10th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

                Tevita Kuridrani immediately springs to mind.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 3:36pm
                jameswm said | January 10th 2018 @ 3:36pm | ! Report

                We poached him, did we?

                So he didn’t move to Australia with his family, aged 16?

                So he didn’t go to Corinda State High School in Brisbane?

                Who else do you want to try?

              • January 10th 2018 @ 5:06pm
                JoC said | January 10th 2018 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

                @jameswm.
                Henry Speight.

                But… Jameswm is right. Most PI heritage players who play for Australia came with their families who migrated to Australia for a more prosperous life. It so happened that their children were good at rugby and played for Australia. Not often are they good at rugby then come to Australia, but it does occasionally occur.

                Today’s professional sporting place will always see players depart their home countries for more favourable playing conditions and pay. It happens in professional occupations and isn’t a problem. If they feel their adopted country is where their passion lies, we cannot stop them. There a residency restrictions to help, but as long as people can migrate this will always be a problem.

                And anyway, it’s always fun to give the pommel sh1t about the birth places of their teams!

              • January 11th 2018 @ 7:26pm
                FunBus said | January 11th 2018 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

                ‘So he didn’t move to Australia with his family, aged 16?’

                Ben Stokes moved to England when he was 12 – but he’s a Kiwi apparently.

            • Roar Pro

              January 10th 2018 @ 7:23pm
              Adam Hayward said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:23pm | ! Report

              Malan grew us in RSA but he was born in London

          • January 10th 2018 @ 10:23pm
            Farqueue said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:23pm | ! Report

            Andrew symonds was 3 months old when he arrived in Australia.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 7:40pm
        DaveJ said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

        It would be a travesty if Archer joined the long list of people who grew up and learnt their cricket in another country who end up playing for England. Representing a country should be about being a product of that country and not whether you want to play for them to earn more money. Go and get an IPL contract if that’s your bag. Or better, the Bangladesh Premier League. This particularly applies to people who have already played first class cricket in their home country, like Pietersen, Mullally, McCague, Craig White. Pietersen was a particularly blatant example, and his presence in The Ashes was a blight on the rich history of the contest. The guy grew up in and played for Natal, worshipped Alan Donald growing up and speaks with a South African accent. What more do we need to know? I couldn’t care less whether he is eligible for a British passport.

        Dawid Malan is in a bit of a grey area – South African parents and grew up in SA and played for Boland, but was at least born in England. I don’t buy that someone like Jofra Archer should be able to play for whoever he wants and earn money. It is we the public that have given meaning to international contests because they are supposed to represent something. This was created before the money, and what provides a basis for the money in the first place. And Jofra’s mates in the Windies won’t get the same opportunity, while he (like Pietersen) will rob a real Englishman of an opportunity.

        England is a disgrace for encouraging people like Pietersen and depriving poorer countries of their homegrown talent.
        However, this doesn’t apply to people like Stokes or Ballance who came to England well before they left school.

        Same principle applies to rugby. Henry Speight who came after playing junior World Cup rugby for Fiji shouldn’t play for Australia, but no problem with Kuridrani who came as a teenager. The worst offenders in rugby are France who had one point had three South Africans in the team – Spedding and two others – who had no family link to France, just went to play pro football. Why not just go the whole hog and buy the whole team, like Turkey and Qatar now do to get medals in The Olympics. What glory or kudos does this bring? Tarnished medals, or in the case of Pietersen, who should never have been on the field, tarnished Ashes victories.

        And to be clear, the only reason all these players are going to England is because they have a professional first class comp that pays more than their home comp.

    • January 10th 2018 @ 7:05am
      English twizz said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:05am | ! Report

      All will be forgot after a good home summer against India and Pakistan then the same next winter as the ashes

      • January 10th 2018 @ 7:26am
        jamesb said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:26am | ! Report

        But can you win in Australia in four years time? Vaughan has said that Australia are closer to winning the Ashes in England, compared to England winning in Australia. He reckons England are miles away from succeeding in Australia

        • January 10th 2018 @ 9:45am
          Stuart Bywater said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:45am | ! Report

          Hi James,

          Congratulations on the performance of the Marshes. And welcome back Maxy.

          Your observation is sad but true. My favourite Ashes was the closely fought 2005 in England series.

          The London Telegraph (reprinted in the Fairfax Press) report today that the ECB and CA are discussing this very issue. Suggestions include separating Test tours from shorter formats, longer periods between Tests, matches against better quality non Test sides, the duke ball being used in Sheffield Shield in the season preceding the next Ashes. It is pleasing to see the ECB and CA working together to improve future Ashes.

          I would like to see touring teams play three or four day matches against the Shield side of the forthcoming Test venue (QLD, SA, WA, VIC, NSW) Tests played Thursday to Monday; England vs hosting Shield team played Thursday or Friday to Sunday. CA should ensure first XIs sans Test players are selected.

          As reported widely in the Roar, the ECB need to consider the effect of the County Championship structure on fast and spin bowling development.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 10:02am
            Kangajets said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

            Stuart

            Sounds like some common sense finally

          • Roar Guru

            January 10th 2018 @ 12:45pm
            The Bush said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

            It all comes down to scheduling.

            If there was enough time in the calendar, then the optimum would be:

            1. Aus players playing some County cricket for necessary experience;

            2. Some English players playing Shield for necessary experience;

            3. Adequate and effective warm up matches against full strength Shield or County teams.

            It’s not rocket science that the last time England won here they played three proper first class, four day games against actual state sides.

            The problem is that with all the T20 Leagues and pointless ODI cricket, there will never be time again to do this.

            • January 10th 2018 @ 12:53pm
              Don Freo said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

              Which English players would get a game in Shield cricket? Perhaps a spot for Root in the batting line up for Victoria or Tasmania and, maybe Anderson as a short term fix for Qld’s quicks.

              No one else would get a game.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 2:10pm
                Rob said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                Your sounding very arrogant Don. They probably wouldn’t break into the current Australian team but they’re certainly not below shield ability. Any 1 of the top 6 could replace Bancroft.

              • Roar Guru

                January 10th 2018 @ 2:12pm
                The Bush said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                That’s a bit rough mate, Bairstow would get a go over Wade in Tassie… just.

              • Roar Guru

                January 11th 2018 @ 8:26am
                Chris Kettlewell said | January 11th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

                The difficulty with having foreign players in the Shield compared to County cricket is simply a numbers game. There are 6 Shield sides and 8 county sides. Maybe the option would be to create 2 more Shield sides and then allow each team to have two foreign players. So you have an extra 22 playing spots and 16 foreigners, thus allowing some foreign players spots while not compromising the opportunities for locals. But with only 6 sides there’s just not room for imports like there is in County cricket.

              • January 11th 2018 @ 11:50am
                Bakkies said | January 11th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                18 counties and I still think they have too many players. They have got South Africans on three year Kolpak deals. Great for their respective counties no use to England.

              • January 11th 2018 @ 8:08pm
                Breathe Easy said | January 11th 2018 @ 8:08pm | ! Report

                Don arrogant? you must be new to the roar mate….

          • Roar Guru

            January 11th 2018 @ 8:33am
            Chris Kettlewell said | January 11th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

            The issue with playing Shield sides is that it’s such a packed schedule. To even get all the Shield rounds in, they don’t really have the opportunities to take Shield teams away and play against visiting teams without extending the length of the season overall, and that becomes problematic too, because in Australia, most of the cricket grounds are shared with Aussie Rules football. So they can’t get the grounds any earlier as they are still playing football on them, and they already struggle with the clashes enough in the second half of the season, probably hard to push it much more.

            The scheduling is a difficult one to get around. Unless you ditch the 50-over comp altogether and purely pick domestic cricketers for 50-over cricket based on a mix of first class and T20 results. But that could potentially be disastrous to the prospects of the Australian ODI team!

    • January 10th 2018 @ 8:21am
      George said | January 10th 2018 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      Yet another rehash.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 8:36am
        Jordan c said | January 10th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        Yep…

      • January 10th 2018 @ 9:31am
        Don Freo said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Anything incorrect about it this time, George?

    • January 10th 2018 @ 8:22am
      Kangajets said | January 10th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

      Just a thought

      In 2 years time in England,, will we be saying

      Have we got an Aussie seamers who can control the swing or movement in English conditions???

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2018 @ 9:27am
        Edward L'Orange said | January 10th 2018 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        It’s a fair point, but it’s our batsmen over there who struggle most. In all honesty, Australia have been far more competitive in England the last 5 years or so than England in Australia. Their one win in 2011 aside, this millennium has been grim for the poms down under.

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2018 @ 10:27am
        Ryan H said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        That’s the biggest question, whether this Australian attack can be as effective in the 2019 series, and I think they probably can.

        Starc and Hazlewood have bowled there before so will be better for it; Starc is a wicket-taker who simply has to play, Hazlewood is pretty well suited to bowling there with his accuracy, and Cummins’ performances on lifeless Asian pitches in 2017 suggest he can have success bowling anywhere.

        Guys like Bird and Sayers should most definitely be in the squad, and would probably have success in the UK themselves, but I’m not sure any of the frontline 3 quicks can be displaced barring injury.

        • January 10th 2018 @ 10:40am
          jameswm said | January 10th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

          It’s hard to see how the 3 Aussie quicks (plus Patinson) wouldn’t be good in English conditions. Starc is a swing bowler. Cummins doesn’t swing it a lot. Hazlewood might take a little while to get used to it as it might move more than he’s used to, but he’s played there before and is a quality bowler.

          Lyon is the other one. He’s worked out how to be effective in Australia and the subcontinent. Can he work in England? The biggest worry with our bowlers was Lyon not dismissing right handers. He needs to work on this.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 11:58am
            Rob said | January 10th 2018 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            I thought Lyon was outstanding. His bowling in the first innings in Brisbane was fantastic and his run out of Vince set the tone for the rest of the series.
            I do agree he bowls a bit flat and to much at the stumps of the right handers. He’s a lot better than he was before India though.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 12:14pm
            Jake said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

            Pattinson played in their county comp last year and slayed them…..with both bat and ball.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 4:21pm
            Jeffrey Dun said | January 10th 2018 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

            “Lyon is the other one. He’s worked out how to be effective in Australia and the subcontinent. Can he work in England?”

            He went OK in the last Ashes in England. He took 16 wickets @ 28.25, which is very respectable given the seam friendly conditions. He was equal third highest wicket taker for the series behind Broad and Starc and equal with Hazlewood.

          • Roar Pro

            January 10th 2018 @ 7:34pm
            Adam Hayward said | January 10th 2018 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

            Starc’s record in England is pretty ordinary, but he’s a better, faster and more acurate bowler now then he was in Australia’s past 2 tours. It will be interesting to see how he goes.

            But I agree that it’s the batsmen who will be tested the most. They haven’t won their since 2001 and every tour since, so many players techniques have been exposed

      • Roar Guru

        January 10th 2018 @ 12:47pm
        The Bush said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

        Our bowling isn’t the problem in England. The team in 2013 showed that we can do it. The issue is:

        1. You can’t defend 60. If the batsmen aren’t up to it, there is no point;

        2. Will the Aus selectors pick the right bowlers? It may just be the case that a Siddle type bowler (who was part of the effective 2013 bowling unit) would be preferred over the current attack (at least at certain points). Enter Sayers.

        • Roar Guru

          January 10th 2018 @ 12:53pm
          Paul D said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

          We have a long history of not picking the right bowlers for the right conditions – Damien Fleming played 20 tests for Australia and never played one in England where he would have been devastating

          • Roar Guru

            January 10th 2018 @ 2:15pm
            The Bush said | January 10th 2018 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

            Amazing that he played so few tests. He was one of my favourite players growing up. Just goes to show the depth of Australian bowling over the years, he had to compete with McGrath throughout his whole career, as well as with McDermott and Rieffel at the start and Lee and Kaspa at the end. Still, amazing he didn’t get more opportunities.

            • January 10th 2018 @ 5:42pm
              matth said | January 10th 2018 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

              Fleming was also quite injury prone. Great bowler though.

        • January 10th 2018 @ 3:16pm
          Kris said | January 10th 2018 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

          Yep. The moment the ball moves in the air the Australian technique of rocking onto the front foot or swinging at everything sees us knocked over like skittles.

          • January 10th 2018 @ 3:39pm
            jameswm said | January 10th 2018 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

            Enter Chris Rogers to teach us how to adjust for English conditions.

            • Roar Guru

              January 10th 2018 @ 4:57pm
              Ryan H said | January 10th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

              Heck give Rogers a place in the XI he’d probably still average 45 in 2019 over there

          • January 10th 2018 @ 5:43pm
            matth said | January 10th 2018 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

            Which is why the Australians different batting approach in this series is promising. They were patient, pushed at the ball a lot less and didn’t panic when things were tough.

      • January 10th 2018 @ 12:49pm
        Harbijan Can't Singh said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

        The 3 same quicks will be fine for Lords and The Oval. Bring in Sayers for one of those guys for the 3 Tests outside of Lodon and we’ll have all bases covered.

      • January 11th 2018 @ 12:51am
        TheCunningLinguistic said | January 11th 2018 @ 12:51am | ! Report

        A good swing bowler is essential for England- look at TerryAlderman’s record over there! Sayers is a must, I’d also consider bringing over Behrendorff or Paris as backup, whichever of those two isn’t injured at the time…

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