Australian Test bowler predictions for 2013

Joe Karsay Columnist

By Joe Karsay, Joe Karsay is a Roar Expert

19 Have your say

    As we approach the tours of India and England, the shining light for Australian cricket is the depth in our seam bowling ranks.

    The hot topic of the summer has been player rotations but the emergence of a bowling “squad” will undoubtedly be an advantage as we embark on this gruelling test year. In a previous article I made predictions about the likely fortunes of our test batmen and here I do the same for the bowlers.

    Peter Siddle: Has been a war horse and a favourite of his captains due to the consistency of his effort. However, he now has a younger crop of bowlers snapping at his heals.

    As there will be little there for the quicks in India you would expect his ability to bang the ball in all day long will get him picked despite his ageing body.

    James Pattinson: Coming back from a side strain that ended his summer. Pattinson has all the attributes, namely: pace, swing and aggression.

    If fit, he is amongst the first couple of bowlers picked. Unlike Mitch Johnson’s aggression which was confected after he was told he was too placid, Pattinson’s seems to be innate, he loves a stare and a stoush. Along with keeper Wade, Pattinson could be the new generation of ‘in-your-face’ Aussie cricketers that were a feature in the era of dominance. A new culture seems to be forming around these guys.

    Mitchell Starc: Starc has raised his rating due to his stellar performances in the one day series this summer, however, judged on test form alone he is not an automatic pick. He is six-foot-five and can hoop the ball around at 150kmph but he can also leak runs and bowl wides.

    Will be tested in the Indian conditions. He is also competing now with a resurgent Mitch Johnson for the left arm pace spot. If he can show the same form with a red ball that he has with the white, he will play a big role this year.

    Jackson Bird: The find of the summer. Produced Glenn McGrath like line and length to take out man of the match in Sydney. Captains love bowlers can bowl one side of the wicket. Bird also has subtle rather than obvious movement. I hate to draw the parallel again but McGrath proved you only need to move the ball far enough to take the edge. Bird will take many edges and wickets in 2013.

    Mitch Johnson: The Lazarus of Australian fast bowlers. Has had an up and down career. Great performances in South Africa were mixed with horrible ones in England. Now with a higher arm action and a more substantial run-up (under the tutelage of Dennis Lillee) he seems to have found his best form.

    Has a penchant for breaking bones of opposition talismanic batsmen such as Graham Smith and Kumar Sangakarra. Even his teammates don’t like facing him in the nets because he is so hard to pick up out of the hand.

    Pat Cummins: Has slipped out of focus due to a long term injury but in a pretty full roster this is the kid to watch. A prodigious talent who at nineteen can bowl outswingers at close to 150kmph, the holy grail of fast bowling. Will lead this attack in years to come and has the potential to be out next great quick in the foot-steps of Lillee and McGrath.

    Ben Hilfenhaus: Was back down to low 130skmph this year and that will not cut the mustard. Stock in trade is a well-shaped late outswinger but it is less effective at that pace than at 140kmph. You get the sense that he is on his way out, although the conditions in England will suit him more than any other.

    Nathan Lyon: Unlike others in the post Warne era such as Beer and Hauritz, Lyon has bedded down his spot and will be the prime spinner in India.

    He has done so through good consistent performances rather than taking bags of five-fors. One criticism is that he has not been able to make an impact on many top order batsmen.

    A lot of his wickets have been lower order batmen caught in the deep. Perhaps we were spoilt with Warne, Lyon now the team song singer deals more in economics than histrionics. As for other spin options, Glenn Maxwell appears to be the leading contender.

    It is hard to justify Doherty’s test selection with his first class average of mid forty and Steven Smith appears to have little confidence in his wrist spin.

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    The Crowd Says (19)

    • February 14th 2013 @ 4:57am
      AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 4:57am | ! Report

      Hi Joe

      Not sure what you are trying to say with this article. Seem to just be saying what we all think anyway….

      I like Sids, but along with many (i am assuming….), think that Bird, Starc and Pattinson are the future of our attack.

      India will be a struggle, but they will do OK in England and then back in Oz for the return Ashes leg.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 9:57am
        jameswm said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

        Siddle’s the no.4 ranked test bowler int he world, and the no.3 ranked fast bowler.

        He’s not exciting, but he’s the type you need in your attack. Comes in and bowls fast all day, gets a little movement, and when pitching it up more is a good bowler. He’s the perfect foil for your Starcs and Pattinsons.

        Bird is a bit like Siddle, but not as fast and moves it more.

        • Roar Guru

          February 15th 2013 @ 11:15am
          DingoGray said | February 15th 2013 @ 11:15am | ! Report

          Siddle is a Lion Heart….Love his passion…BUT

          The fact he doesn’t really swing the ball is going to hurt him in India. More than likely Australia is only going to have 2 Front Line quicks playing unless they go down the ridiculous Mitcheel Johnson or Mitchell Starc a genuine all rounder path again.

          With the 2 Frontline quicks they need to be able to most importantly swing the new ball which Siddle hardly ever does and use reverse swing when it’s older..Which give him credit he does ok, but overall will not be in the Pattinson, Johnson & Starc field when it comes to this.

          I think Sidds only play in this series as the rotation. Make sure he’s fit for England and unleash him on the Poms when Johnson will clearly need to be nursed through.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 8:25am
      James said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Lyon’s statistics would be a hell of a lot better if Wade didn’t keep on dropping catches. And talking about Cummins being a long term great on the basis of a single spell almost 18 months ago is ridiculous. He should not be mentioned again in the context of the Australian side until he has played at least half a shield season without breaking down.

      I like Doherty as a limited over bowler. He has had great success at the domestic level for many years. As a first class bowler, he is extremely underwhelming. How he gets a ticket on the tour above O’Keefe is stunning.

      Personally, I think that the chase for pace is extremely over rated. There have been many extremely successful bowlers at around 135 km/h.

      • February 15th 2013 @ 10:34am
        Disco said | February 15th 2013 @ 10:34am | ! Report

        Indeed. Assering that Cummins will lead the attack for years to come is really just crossing one’s fingers.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 8:47am
      Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      I think Hazlewood could be the bolter in 2013.

      Bowls 140+ and gets bounce with plenty of accuracy.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 8:54am
        AndyMack said | February 14th 2013 @ 8:54am | ! Report

        His record suggests otherwise.

        Hope he comes good, but seems like one of these “golden child” types, who get a run without performance on the board. Def hope i am wrong on that one.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 9:01am
          Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          I wouldn’t say his record is that bad.

          48 FC wicket @ 31.

          He’s missed a lot of FC with bad injuries.

          The best is yet to come.

          • February 14th 2013 @ 9:17am
            James said | February 14th 2013 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            There are much better candidates

            Hazlewood – 16 matches 48 wickets at 31.35
            Faulkner – 30 matches 107 wickets at 22.82

            Both 22 and Faulkner averages 27 with the bat compared to Hazlewood’s 12.

            This season, Hazlewood has taken 14 wickets in 5 matches at an average of 39.

            • February 14th 2013 @ 10:14am
              Frankie Hughes said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              Faulkner who plays on a pretty friendly Hobart pitch yeah?

              Faulkner who bowls 125-130kph?

              Yes we really need a left arm version of Hilfenhaus…

              • February 14th 2013 @ 1:50pm
                James said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:50pm | ! Report

                Is that the Hilfenhaus who took 37 wickets at an average of 21.67 last year?

                It is amazing how friendly the Hobart pitch is for the Tasmanian bowlers but not unfriendly for the Tasmanian batsmen. Surely if that is the case and we effectively discount their performance then we need to push Bailey and Cosgrove up. If you look at the stats for Faulkner, Butterworth and Bird outside Hobart, they are all very good. I think from recollection Faulkner’s average outside Hobart is closer to 25 which is still a lot better than Hazelwood

              • February 15th 2013 @ 10:35am
                Disco said | February 15th 2013 @ 10:35am | ! Report

                I think Hazlewood first-class record would be a helluva lot better had he not suffered so much with injuries.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 10:20am
        Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:20am | ! Report

        Hazelwood is crap. I’ve never understood why the selectors and commentators talk him up. He is a less accurate version of Ben Cutting who takes fewer wickets.
        Faulkner is still a limited overs bowler (mind you so is Starc at the moment) but both will probably be competing with Cummins for a test spot in the future (I don’t expect Faulkner to ever play a test). He’s not an allrounder no matter how often people talk him up as one – he, like Starc, Cutting and Johnson is a bowler who sometimes comes off with the bat.

        • February 14th 2013 @ 10:39am
          James said | February 14th 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

          Agree on Hazelwood. Disagree on Faulkner playing tests.

          I think both Faulkner and Cutting are a step above Starc and Johnson in terms of being reliable batsmen. I guess it depends on what we mean by the term all rounder. I think there are really three types of all rounder
          – the real all rounder – someone who can be picked on either batting or bowling alone. Very rare.
          – the second string all rounder – good enough on one discipline to be picked and is handy with the second discipline
          – the crap all rounder – not good enough on either discipline to be picked alone on that discipline but the selectors think they are good enough overall to provide benefit to the team

          Faulkner, Cutting, Starc and Johnson are all second string all rounders – good enough to be considered purely on their bowling and handy (to different levels) with the bat. I’d put Butterworth and O’Keefe there as well (at least at a Domestic level).

          I currently rate Steve Smith, Henriques and Maxwell as crap all rounders. Not good enough in either discipline to be chosen for the side.

          • February 15th 2013 @ 10:49am
            Disco said | February 15th 2013 @ 10:49am | ! Report

            What about a proper allrounder like Andrew McDonald?

            Starc is a far superior batsman to Johnson. The latter’s test record isn’t even that flash for a No.9.

    • February 14th 2013 @ 11:36am
      deccas said | February 14th 2013 @ 11:36am | ! Report

      Why doesn’t Ali McDermott get a mention when young fast bowlers are being discussed? He’s got the best re lord for a young quick by a country mile a d couldn’t buy a mention. I haven’t seen him bowl to be honest but by his cricinfo stats he should be considered above any young bowler in the country bar pattinson.

      • February 14th 2013 @ 1:35pm
        Red Kev said | February 14th 2013 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        Ali needs a few more years to pick up an extra yard of pace and then he’ll be a handful. He’s a great death bowler in limited overs matches and good in the shield too. Right now I’d say he needs a bit more pace and a couple of years at FC level should give it to him.

    • February 15th 2013 @ 10:31am
      Disco said | February 15th 2013 @ 10:31am | ! Report

      A new culture? What, you mean the boorishness exhibited by the likes of Maxwell, Faulkner, McKay and Finch? Yeah, great…

      • February 15th 2013 @ 1:15pm
        Mango Jack said | February 15th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

        Yes, it’s disappointing to see so many of our “next crop” carrying on this way. Faulkner’s spray at the WI batsman he dismissed the other night was awful, and McKay gesticulating when Best had the temerity to direct the final delivery at his legs was pathetic. I’m optimistic that Clarke now has the maturity and respect of team mates to deal with it.

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