Australia news September 25, 2012

Australia to rotate young fast bowlers in Tests

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Australia's young fast bowlers Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Mitchell Starc are set to rotate through the Test side this season in an effort to manage their workloads and prevent injuries. Australia's coach Mickey Arthur said team selections would need to be made with sports science in mind after the selectors last summer ignored the advice of sports scientists, who told them Pattinson was likely to break down during the Sydney Test against India.

Pattinson entered last season with only six first-class matches to his name but his strong performances in his initial appearances in the baggy green encouraged the selectors to pick him in Sydney for his fourth Test in five weeks. Towards the end of the SCG Test he complained of pain in his left foot and scans showed the early signs of stress fractures, which then sidelined him for two months.

"The sports scientists tell me that our guys under the age of 25 can bowl 52 to 55 days in a year," Arthur told reporters in Sri Lanka this week. "Whereas guys like Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus and Mitchell Johnson, over the age of the 25, they can probably give you 75 [days] at high intensity.

"We were told by the sports scientists that James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test match. We then got all that information and [captain] Michael Clarke and myself and the selector on duty, we thought that the impact he'd made in Melbourne, it was worth taking that risk. Even though he broke down, he got four wickets in the first innings, he got Gautam Gambhir in the first over of that Test match, arguably he put us on the road to win that Test. That was a risk that we thought was worthwhile."

With Ryan Harris already ruled out of the three-Test series against South Africa as he recovers from shoulder surgery, it will be extra important for the Australians to keep Cummins, Pattinson and Starc fit and well. Cummins, 19, has suffered injuries this year and has not played a Test since his outstanding debut in Johannesburg last November, and Arthur said it was likely he would play only once during the South African series.

"That is what the sports scientists are telling me and I've got to go along with that," Arthur said. "We'd like to play him in everything, but it's not possible. Much like we did with Mitchell Starc last year, he travelled with us to most venues, ended up getting three Test matches I think in the year, five or six ODIs but he was with us all the time and we are really seeing the benefits of that now."

Cummins and Starc are with the Australia squad in Sri Lanka at the World T20 while Pattinson, 22, has been at home in Melbourne preparing for Victoria's first matches of the season, a Ryobi Cup match on Sunday in Perth followed by a Sheffield Shield game. Pattinson said he understood the need for the team management to restrict the workload of the younger fast bowlers.

"I can definitely see where they're coming from," Pattinson said. "As a fast bowler you don't really want to miss games ... but the way things are going now there's so much cricket all over the world, Twenty20 and Test cricket is getting more and more every time. I think we are a pretty young bowling side coming through and you don't want to get burned out too early. As much as we want to play we do listen to them and they really have our best interests [at heart].

"For me personally it's hard to play all three formats. I found that over the first year of being involved, especially with my body and even the mental side of it does get a bit draining. With Starcy playing the shorter format of the game recently and going over to England and getting some experience over there is great, Patty Cummins is playing the shorter format now and getting some experience that way. I think the way they're doing it now is very good and it's going to hold us in good stead come three or four years like Mickey was talking about, once we reach that age of 25 and become a bit more mature."

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on September 26, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    @ygkd on (September 26 2012, 08:16 AM GMT) - I think the load will be shared fairly well around the National set up across 3 formats. I think we'll see a lot of MJ, Bollinger & McKay in the short forms & given we play a few medium pace allrounders, we should be able to spread the workload. I would of thought that getting overs under the belt would of been the ideal way to go about things, but this 55 day quota/ puts a bit of a dampener on that. @jonesy2 on (September 26 2012, 06:20 AM GMT) - I think Starc offers a bit more than Patto atm. Can't wait for the Gabba!

  • Moppa on September 26, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @xylo, yes! The answer is: never! @Cokes, do you really think that Pattinson and Cummins get injured because they don't do enough jogging? I don't really see how a lack cardio exercise relates to heel stress fractures, back strains etc. Puzzling. No doubt Ntini was tough, but I suspect the problem for these young quicks is a bit more complex than you imply. In general the premise of the article is odd - firstly Siddle and Hilfenhaus are shoo-ins for the Gabba (and a fit Ryan Harris probably would be too) so the younger guys will have to work hard to get into the side, before we worry about rotating them out of it. Starc, Pattinson and Cummins all have great potential but will have to fight for the spots left over from the older guys for a little while yet. In any case it seems 'rotation' will naturally happen due to injuries. I would only support deliberate rotation in ODIs, or perhaps in back-to-back Tests to minimise the risk of breakdown during the match.

  • Hammond on September 26, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @ygkd- CA would share the load if they could, however they keep having nightmares about their preferred bowling line up going for 1/517 against England. Hence rushing in young blokes that aren't improving their bowling abilities against callous youthful batsman in Shield cricket that wouldn't know proper batting technique even if they ran over it in their brand new HSV ute. Tough times ahead for Aussie cricket.

  • ygkd on September 26, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I've read a few comments but "Rotation-policy will make Oz best in world" is still not an argument I fully understand. I must be out-of-date because I thought bowlers needed overs under their belts for rhythm and, for that reason, a bowler's schedule shouldn't be too cluttered, but neither should it be too bare as to not provide that essential rhythm. So it's not so much the rotation that bothers my thought processes as much as the implementation. As always, the devil's in the detail. Come to that, perhaps we should be asking the question - can we be too reliant on young quicks? How about some older bodies and more experienced heads to share the load?

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 26, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    @MattyP1979 I do not think the Saffas averages could get any better after the recent debacle in England, remember if you get out your average drops.

  • jonesy2 on September 26, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    this is an example why australia are the best team in the world and will continue to be for next 15 or so years. i think the fast bowlers for the first test against the proteas will be patto, sidds and hilf, then cummins and starc can come in if need be. im already excited to see these guys bowling at the saffa batsmen, after smacking around englands medium pace dobble brigade they should hopefully have a rough time. proper test cricket awaits..

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 26, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    I do not believe you should rotate players, pick the most in form and let the others take there spots either on form or injured. during our glory days we had any number of batsmen capable of playing test matches because IMO they were playing against some good test class bowling in the shield or milk whatever it was called at the time. now when they get a break from tests they do not play 4 or 5 day cricket, they are learning nothing playing 20/20 cricket @xylo yes apparently the poms are looking to buy him, and if he signs with England he will be a world beater, just ask them they think there team is full of them.

  • unregisteredalien on September 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    @xylo, you just made me snort coffee out of my nose.

  • Hammond on September 26, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    FYI it's actually the RMS Titanic, and given that it was near midnight in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean no-one was actually sitting on the deck chairs. Still the parralells with the unbridled optimism of both the current Australian cricket administration and the White Star Line and what is about to happen in the next 18 months to Australian cricket is very apt I think.

  • Meety on September 26, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @Chris_P on (September 25 2012, 23:56 PM GMT) - just on bowling strength, I would say Sth Oz have the "weakest" bowling line up in the Shield, YET a full strength attack could be any 5 of George, Putland, Christian, Richardson, Bailey & Lyon, (not to mention the Saffa). That is an attack (if inc the Saffa), would have 4 International bowlers. IMO, this is PART of the reason why we don't have bloated FC batting stats in domestic Oz cricket atm. I think favourable weather conditions was helpful to pace bowlers as well.

  • Meety on September 26, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    @ygkd on (September 26 2012, 08:16 AM GMT) - I think the load will be shared fairly well around the National set up across 3 formats. I think we'll see a lot of MJ, Bollinger & McKay in the short forms & given we play a few medium pace allrounders, we should be able to spread the workload. I would of thought that getting overs under the belt would of been the ideal way to go about things, but this 55 day quota/ puts a bit of a dampener on that. @jonesy2 on (September 26 2012, 06:20 AM GMT) - I think Starc offers a bit more than Patto atm. Can't wait for the Gabba!

  • Moppa on September 26, 2012, 9:25 GMT

    @xylo, yes! The answer is: never! @Cokes, do you really think that Pattinson and Cummins get injured because they don't do enough jogging? I don't really see how a lack cardio exercise relates to heel stress fractures, back strains etc. Puzzling. No doubt Ntini was tough, but I suspect the problem for these young quicks is a bit more complex than you imply. In general the premise of the article is odd - firstly Siddle and Hilfenhaus are shoo-ins for the Gabba (and a fit Ryan Harris probably would be too) so the younger guys will have to work hard to get into the side, before we worry about rotating them out of it. Starc, Pattinson and Cummins all have great potential but will have to fight for the spots left over from the older guys for a little while yet. In any case it seems 'rotation' will naturally happen due to injuries. I would only support deliberate rotation in ODIs, or perhaps in back-to-back Tests to minimise the risk of breakdown during the match.

  • Hammond on September 26, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @ygkd- CA would share the load if they could, however they keep having nightmares about their preferred bowling line up going for 1/517 against England. Hence rushing in young blokes that aren't improving their bowling abilities against callous youthful batsman in Shield cricket that wouldn't know proper batting technique even if they ran over it in their brand new HSV ute. Tough times ahead for Aussie cricket.

  • ygkd on September 26, 2012, 8:16 GMT

    I've read a few comments but "Rotation-policy will make Oz best in world" is still not an argument I fully understand. I must be out-of-date because I thought bowlers needed overs under their belts for rhythm and, for that reason, a bowler's schedule shouldn't be too cluttered, but neither should it be too bare as to not provide that essential rhythm. So it's not so much the rotation that bothers my thought processes as much as the implementation. As always, the devil's in the detail. Come to that, perhaps we should be asking the question - can we be too reliant on young quicks? How about some older bodies and more experienced heads to share the load?

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 26, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    @MattyP1979 I do not think the Saffas averages could get any better after the recent debacle in England, remember if you get out your average drops.

  • jonesy2 on September 26, 2012, 6:20 GMT

    this is an example why australia are the best team in the world and will continue to be for next 15 or so years. i think the fast bowlers for the first test against the proteas will be patto, sidds and hilf, then cummins and starc can come in if need be. im already excited to see these guys bowling at the saffa batsmen, after smacking around englands medium pace dobble brigade they should hopefully have a rough time. proper test cricket awaits..

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 26, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    I do not believe you should rotate players, pick the most in form and let the others take there spots either on form or injured. during our glory days we had any number of batsmen capable of playing test matches because IMO they were playing against some good test class bowling in the shield or milk whatever it was called at the time. now when they get a break from tests they do not play 4 or 5 day cricket, they are learning nothing playing 20/20 cricket @xylo yes apparently the poms are looking to buy him, and if he signs with England he will be a world beater, just ask them they think there team is full of them.

  • unregisteredalien on September 26, 2012, 4:41 GMT

    @xylo, you just made me snort coffee out of my nose.

  • Hammond on September 26, 2012, 2:13 GMT

    FYI it's actually the RMS Titanic, and given that it was near midnight in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean no-one was actually sitting on the deck chairs. Still the parralells with the unbridled optimism of both the current Australian cricket administration and the White Star Line and what is about to happen in the next 18 months to Australian cricket is very apt I think.

  • Meety on September 26, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    @Chris_P on (September 25 2012, 23:56 PM GMT) - just on bowling strength, I would say Sth Oz have the "weakest" bowling line up in the Shield, YET a full strength attack could be any 5 of George, Putland, Christian, Richardson, Bailey & Lyon, (not to mention the Saffa). That is an attack (if inc the Saffa), would have 4 International bowlers. IMO, this is PART of the reason why we don't have bloated FC batting stats in domestic Oz cricket atm. I think favourable weather conditions was helpful to pace bowlers as well.

  • Cokes on September 26, 2012, 0:24 GMT

    The problem is simply a lack of basic all round fitness, i.e. non cricket stuff like lots of running fitness. How many times did Ntini break down in 101 tests?...not once, and that is with bowling lots and lots of overs plus fielding off his own bowling and running back to the mark. 86 tests came in 8 years (15 in 2008) bowling an average of over 35overs per test alone In his early days he was running average 10km a day at a pace that would put most regular runners to shame i.e. 40min, including mornings of batting days during a test. Do you think Cummins and Pattinson do regular running?...and if they do it is jogging on the grass in team warm ups.

  • Chris_P on September 25, 2012, 23:56 GMT

    Fortunately, unlike our batting, there is a stack of pace bowling depth & options of players up to test standard & they can all be selected for pitches best suited for their bowling. One thing I have particularly enjoyed at Shield games I have attended was the quality pace bowling on show, by many of the states. Even Andrew McDonald impressed me last season & he performed quite well against the Boks a few years ago, but he is way down the pecking order. Rotation, for maximum efficiency, is the answer. The bowlers on show don't show the economical action that McGrath had, the very reason he played so many games without injury, but that, folks, is very rare for pace bowlers.

  • xylo on September 25, 2012, 23:11 GMT

    Can sports science predict when Mitchell Johnson will return to form? ;-)

  • MattyP1979 on September 25, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    This is some seriously brilliant planning from the Aus camp. Limiting the dmg SA batsman are going to do to Aus bowling avg's is a fantastic bit of out the box thinking. Coupled with the fact that players are seen to be "rotated" rather than dropped, anyone remember scatter gun Johnson being rotated out of the side. I wonder how many batsman are going to be rotated too! SA vs Aus I just hope it isn't too embarrasing.

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 21:51 GMT

    @Beertjie on (September 25 2012, 18:08 PM GMT) - I think Warner needs to score some runs in the early Shield season (have long wanted him to suspend playing T20), however, IMO, Cowan has done everything right, enuff to suggest he will be good in Oz & England. I would have concerns about BOTH openers in India. I would rather we do something out of the box & select Hussey (either brother) & Ponting to open in India. As I think both Cowan & warner have some issues v spin.

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    @Green_and_Gold on (September 25 2012, 13:20 PM GMT) - it's probably worth noting that the "unsinkable" Titanic was ... Brittish! More parrallels with the unbeatable "English" cricket team if you ask me! LOL! @SirViv1973 on (September 25 2012, 19:02 PM GMT) - I know Ozzy media can "sometimes" hype a player beyond his station, but I would tend to listen to current & past players when they talk about Cummins. Fingers crossed - no significant injuries!

  • ygkd on September 25, 2012, 20:33 GMT

    Going back to that young pace bowler I mentioned earlier. Because he played in a comp where the older juniors were in the morning and A-grade in the arvo, he mostly went off and played another morning sport rather than juniors cricket. The daily over restrictions meant if he had played often (and bowled) in the juniors, he couldn't have bowled hardly at all in the seniors. The irony of an instance like this is an alternative, unregulated activity can also put some pressure on the back, perhaps not exactly the same pressure but pressure none-the-less, and it is the ideal of protecting young bowlers' backs that leads to such restrictions in the first place. So how does one regulate for all eventualities? I'm reminded of a sports science questionaire I did recently, about attitudes to exercise. It concluded I had time & energy "issues". I do too, because I spend a lot of time at hard manual work! But work-related exercise didn't count at all, probably because the author's never done any.

  • on September 25, 2012, 20:12 GMT

    Under 25 bowlers can only bowl 52 to 55 days of the year.I'd be ashamed to call myself a "fast bowler" if that was all i could manage.

  • SirViv1973 on September 25, 2012, 19:02 GMT

    Starc's stint at yorkshire would have done him the world of good. Too much has been made of Cummins CA shouldn't be considering him for test cricket that lad needs to learn his trade at first class level. Pattinson has shown promise but is a long way short of being the finished article and has much to learn as his appearances in the ODI series against Eng confirmed. With Harris unlikely to figure much in the future due to Injury I think Aus will need the likes of Siddle & Hilfenhaus for a fair bit longer.

  • on September 25, 2012, 18:47 GMT

    This article is nothing but a plug for so called "sports scientists". If you call them orthopedics with a sports specialization, it reduces their sphere of influence... calling them "sports scientists" makes it sound so general. Also, they are not scientists if they are not doing research - they are just practitioners.

  • peter4135 on September 25, 2012, 18:34 GMT

    Its amazing that Steyn and Morkel play all three formats but rarely gets injured.

  • Beertjie on September 25, 2012, 18:08 GMT

    Spot on, @Meety on (September 25 2012, 09:04 AM GMT). Cummins at the Gabba might help tilt the scales in the bowling, but are we seriously going to use Cowen and Warner? At least have Chris Rogers in the squad if they can't cut it!

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 25, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    Yes you are right. For some reason I was remembering that Sydney was the final Test as it often is in an Australian summer. Not sure if taking a bowler who you've been told is going to break down at 1-0 in a 4 Test series isn't actually even worse. What if he had limped off after the first over of the Test?

  • David_Bofinger on September 25, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    Several times in recent years, Clarke has had a chance to enforce a follow-on but chose to bat, even though it looked like the follow-on was the way to maximise Australia's chance of winning the match. I wondered at the time if he was trying to minimise the risk of wearing out his quicks. The Pattinson story suggests that might well have been his reason, and a very good one.

  • ammar7may on September 25, 2012, 13:33 GMT

    A much humane approach, a must needed thinking. ICC must consider humane aspect of game and promulgate it to all the cricketing nations, so that we can see quality cricket at all the times, as well as new players keep getting chances during the rotation of senior(s) and companions. Well done Cricket Australia! A must adopt idea!

  • Green_and_Gold on September 25, 2012, 13:20 GMT

    @ Hammond: Maybe if a deck chair was positioned in the right spot someone would have seen that iceberg!

  • IndianInnerEdge on September 25, 2012, 13:12 GMT

    Interesting article, I would like 2 understnd as to on what basis they've decided upon 55 days/year...what rationale...also if that is the case-where do they fit in 20-20 where the bowler bowls his 4 overs& puts his feet up at 3rd man....also what rationale is given2the cutoff age being 25?...All these snakeoil sports scientists feed out media driven codswadlle, DKLillee fought back from stress fracture of the back in the dayswhen there was no/little knowledgeofstress frac-by simply bowling in the nets/1stclassmatches, Kapil played about 130 odd test matches consecutively, by keeping fit by just bowling,& inthe indian off season-did it day in&out in countycricket, IMHO the modern cricketer is obsessed with projecting a rugged toned athelete image which will fetch big moolah in the 20-20 cockamamie leagues around the world& endorsements that they overdo the gym bit which leads to greater muscle&toned bodies but more chances of injuries & burnout. Found Disturbing-The Cummins injury bit!

  • Kaze on September 25, 2012, 13:04 GMT

    @Hammond The HMS Titanic just got bowled out for 80 ina T20 to India of all people lol

  • Dashgar on September 25, 2012, 12:45 GMT

    Throw McDermott, Cutting and Coulter-Nile into that group too. We have so much talent capable of playing test cricket we should surely be able to share their workloads, especially with Siddle and Hilfy bowling so well leading the attack. A fit Harris is almost surplus to requirements. Bring on South Africa I say.

  • Nomad82 on September 25, 2012, 12:27 GMT

    Muski, pretty sure Lillee's career was prematurely ended due to injury issues. The number of days of high intensity cricket I what's causing these injuries, some players are more prone than others. Managing this just seems prudent.

  • Moppa on September 25, 2012, 12:02 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm, I was with you up until the last comment. Before the Sydney Test it was still only 1-0 with the Border-Gavaskar Trophy still very much on the line - so hardly 'lunacy'. In terms of workload though, I agree that not bowling can't be the solution. What I really think has changed is the intensity. Nice to see @Chippy Hansen invoking the spirit of Fred Trueman with his line about county cricket. I'm pretty sure the old county pros used to hold back and keep a trick or two up their sleeve for when they really needed it. Can't get away with that in modern international cricket - you have to go flat out all the time, and that will lead to injuries. My suspicion is that bowlers need a large 'base' of lower intensity work (i.e. in the nets) to then undergo the necessary bursts of top intensity work in international matches. But I have no evidence to back this up and have to trust that the experts who oversee the team have more idea than I do...

  • on September 25, 2012, 11:45 GMT

    Am loving Hammonds comments. The famous English summer is over and now he needs some more flies to swat.

  • Charlie101 on September 25, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Really hard for a young cricketer . Do you rest when you want to play and see another bowler cement his place in the side or risk injury ??? If you remember Jimmy Anderson was 12th man for a season and never bowled in a match .When his chance came he had lost his form because he had not bowled and was out of the team for approx 18 months. I guess if a bowler has the quality of a Starc etc they will always get their chance at the top but may have to be patient.

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 10:29 GMT

    @ PFEL on (September 25 2012, 10:01 AM GMT) - it would be pretty damming on the Oz management if players were spending too much time in the gym. Working with weights have many benefits - which can depend on what sort of program you are using. There was a series of articles on this site recently where the Indian fitness coach (Leipus?), said that strategic gym work was important. I tend to think a bloke like Watto may have of gone too far, & I hope that Cummins has only been given low weights, as a growing body should not do much gym work. There should be several different levels of fitness management looking after these guys & I would HOPE that "too much" gym work was impossible!

  • RandyOZ on September 25, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Embarassment of riches really in Australia. Expect a breakout year from Coulter-Nile

  • PFEL on September 25, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    It's pretty simple why they are getting injured so much these days and need lower workloads than bowlers in the past IMO. Doing too much "strength" and fitness work in the gym, placing extra stress on the joints which is the last thing you need on your rest days as a fast bowler.

  • satish619chandar on September 25, 2012, 10:01 GMT

    No doubt they are very good bowlers when fully fit. But isn't fitness a key aspect for a fast bowler especially? I see most of the Aussie pace bowlers consistently get injured these days and are often out in middle of series. Aussies have two options. 1. Pick wthe ones who are fit and go based on availability as a short term plan. 2. Pick the guys with good fitness alone and nurture their skills as per need as a long term plan.

  • muski on September 25, 2012, 9:58 GMT

    As medical science is improving by the second, we assume man is getting fitter and stronger and is living longer. Well- doesn't seem so with the problems these very young men from the so called " medically" advanced countries are facing. What ails them- maybe not the work load. Maybe the fault lie in their action or something?.With greats like Dennis Lillee right under their nose, these could be ironed out. Why cant these guys emulate the former greats who churned in day after day , month after month and year after year without ever breaking down- our own Kapil eventhough a Medium pacer, never ever broke down in his entire career( execepting for breaking down in front of Karan Thapar on hearing the allegation from Manoj Prabhakar)

  • on September 25, 2012, 9:34 GMT

    Lillee and Thommo would be ashamed!

  • Hammond on September 25, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    I must re-iterate a previous gem "It's like rotating the deck chairs on the Titanic".. ;)

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 9:04 GMT

    @Jono Makim - ASSUMING no injuries, those 3 must be the first choice combo. Although I think they'd be tempted to play Cummins on the back of his one & only test v Saffas! I would also assume that Lyon will be in the XI as well! Can't wait!

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm on (September 25 2012, 07:47 AM GMT) - I took it a little more literally & would say 55 days is 11 tests, but you're probably right! If the National team was dominant & taking 20 wickets - you would say that they'd be in the field bowling for an average of 3 days per Test. Doesn't leave much for Tour games & domestic FC games! I think Starc has played around 50 days already this yr not including tour games & Shield.

  • on September 25, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    @Meety, well perhaps they could play a good deal more than that in FC cricket, as they obviously wouldn't be bowling every day. It does work out at just one day a week though....... Well anyway, I don't claim to understand this modern sports science sorcery, so whatever they reckon, so long as they are getting it right. Hilfenhaus, Siddle and Starc for the Gabba?

  • rickyvoncanterbury on September 25, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    Yeah i hope they rest them from for the tests but play BB, IPL, WC20/20 Champions league, county cricket ?????

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on September 25, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    55 days? I notice the one Australian bowler who has really progressed in the last 6 months is Starc who has been playing regularly for Yorkshire. I'm more in Brett Lee's camp that fast bowlers have to bowl .... they will get injuries , but it hardens them up. If they are going to stick to these rulings then I see 55 days representing about 20 Tests (presuming you bat half the Test). No need for rotation in Tests but they should be excluded from the majority of ODI's & t20. Picking Pattinson when 3-0 up in a dead match on the advice given was lunacy. He seems to have been set back and has only played bits and pieces since without the same rythm.

  • ygkd on September 25, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    I don't know exactly what's going on but something doesn't feel quite right about all this. Take a good young pace bowler I know - he's been hamstrung by not enough bowling through his teens (which he isn't out of). In short, he needed more overs under his belt than he's been allowed by the junior restrictions, in order to develop the consistent wicket-taking spells to move through the system - I'd call it an apprenticeship at the lower levels. From there, it was normal to move to the mid-level (state level) for finishing if found to be good enough. Now there seems to be a desire to rush the chosen ones straight through and manage them. Sure, the national team will have a great pace battery in 5 or 6 years time - if they can all stay fit. But that is a big "if". A lot can happen in 5 or 6 games, let alone 5 or 6 years, with or without modern management.

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @Jono Makim - 55 days = 5 x 4day FC matches, + 5 Tests, + say 5 ODIs & 5 T20s. That is not much. The thing that stumps me the most is, why the 25 years of age is the mystery marker? If 55 days is the quota for Cummins, I'd ban him from the Big Bash & Champ League. A FULL Shield campaign (not inc Final) is 40 days! Then there is the Siddles & Hilfys (over 25). Glad that Siddle does not play ODIs & T20s. Oz average between 10 to 14 tests in a calendar year. This suggests that, players MUST be officially rested for Tests! I would imagine in any given 12 month period (assuming Siddle is the first pacer selected), he'd play at least 10 days (probably closer to 14/16) of tour matches, 4 Shield matches (16 days) - ASUMING he does not play List A games, this leaves just under 50 days (or 10 tests). Makes you appreciate how McGrath ended up with well over 120 Tests + ODIs!!!!

  • Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on September 25, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Fascinating article. I've previously been skeptical about bowlers' workloads, but it really does seem the guys work harder these days than in years past. Someone noted on a tv show I was watching recently that Australia's nerdiest cricketer Mike Hussey probably bench presses quite a bit more than a hard-man of days past like Dennis Lillee ever would have. Their bodies are different to a generation ago, and the scientists have the best ideas for how to get the best out of them. Coaches have a role to play too - bowlers like McGrath had such smooth run-ups that injuries were much less likely (of course McGrath was also nowhere near as quick as Pattinson, Cummings and Starc).

  • on September 25, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Are four wickets worth all the pain, discomfort and unhappiness a young boy suffers through over bowling and injury?

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Just 52-55 days a year? Doesn't leave Starcy with too much up his sleeve after spending the 'summer' in England. Do they count T20 matches in this? Can they really "know" this, or is it more of a probablility thing? Anyway, I think missing Harris for the SA series is the biggest blow right now, still the best fast bowler in the country I think. But with Hilfy, Siddle, Harris, Starc, Cummins and Pattinson there's plenty there to choose from and lots of others joining the queue.

  • SICHO on September 25, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    I think it's a good idea to preserve young pacemen in order for them to have long careers especially in Test cricket. I think they should take a look at the South African management and how they manage their fast bowlers. Dale Steyn, the best fast bowler at present has only played 66 ODIs in his career, and now he's the fittest fast bowlers in Int'l cricket.

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Three bowlers under the age of 25, one under the age of 20. Well if you ask me Australia have a very good future in its bowling lineup and by the time Hilfenhaus and Siddle reach 35, they would have to make way for these young guys. Fast bowling is not easy, Brett Lee has had his fair share of injuries whilst McGrath is only a medium pacer. A couple of these guys could play 80 old tests, hopefully 100. Maybe take 500 wickets and break McGrath's record if they stay injury free and fit.

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    unbelievable... LESS cricket will help??? OMG harden up!! seriously, I really do wonder how bowlers of yester-year played county cricket in the off season and still came back fresh enough for a full summer?? COUNTY cricket, not 4 overs per match in IPL, day-in, day-out cricket!

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    "We were told by the sports scientists that James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test match. We then got all that information and [captain] Michael Clarke and myself and the selector on duty, we thought that the impact he'd made in Melbourne, it was worth taking that risk. Even though he broke down, he got four wickets in the first innings, he got Gautam Gambhir in the first over of that Test match, arguably he put us on the road to win that Test" == == ==This paragraph concerns me. I don't think it is right to play a bloke when you "know" he is going to break down. I suppose the mitigating circumstance is the extent of the injury. If it was going to be a stress fracture in the back, you'd say no way should he play as you have to think about the welfare of the player. So I am guessing they consider a heel injury something that is relatively easy to treat.

  • Serious_Awesomeness on September 25, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    The sports scientists told them not to pick him as he'd get injured, they picked him, and he missed 6 months of cricket. Good to see the Argus report resulting in quality decisions being made...

  • nthuq on September 25, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    A pity there is so much work and lesser breaks nowadays on the international scene, but it's great to see we're preserving our young guys. Hoping they have the impact they should in the coming years. And hoping even more that Hilfy and Siddle can have as much impact as they did against India last season!

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  • nthuq on September 25, 2012, 5:05 GMT

    A pity there is so much work and lesser breaks nowadays on the international scene, but it's great to see we're preserving our young guys. Hoping they have the impact they should in the coming years. And hoping even more that Hilfy and Siddle can have as much impact as they did against India last season!

  • Serious_Awesomeness on September 25, 2012, 5:47 GMT

    The sports scientists told them not to pick him as he'd get injured, they picked him, and he missed 6 months of cricket. Good to see the Argus report resulting in quality decisions being made...

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 5:59 GMT

    "We were told by the sports scientists that James Pattinson would break down in the Sydney Test match. We then got all that information and [captain] Michael Clarke and myself and the selector on duty, we thought that the impact he'd made in Melbourne, it was worth taking that risk. Even though he broke down, he got four wickets in the first innings, he got Gautam Gambhir in the first over of that Test match, arguably he put us on the road to win that Test" == == ==This paragraph concerns me. I don't think it is right to play a bloke when you "know" he is going to break down. I suppose the mitigating circumstance is the extent of the injury. If it was going to be a stress fracture in the back, you'd say no way should he play as you have to think about the welfare of the player. So I am guessing they consider a heel injury something that is relatively easy to treat.

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:01 GMT

    unbelievable... LESS cricket will help??? OMG harden up!! seriously, I really do wonder how bowlers of yester-year played county cricket in the off season and still came back fresh enough for a full summer?? COUNTY cricket, not 4 overs per match in IPL, day-in, day-out cricket!

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    Three bowlers under the age of 25, one under the age of 20. Well if you ask me Australia have a very good future in its bowling lineup and by the time Hilfenhaus and Siddle reach 35, they would have to make way for these young guys. Fast bowling is not easy, Brett Lee has had his fair share of injuries whilst McGrath is only a medium pacer. A couple of these guys could play 80 old tests, hopefully 100. Maybe take 500 wickets and break McGrath's record if they stay injury free and fit.

  • SICHO on September 25, 2012, 6:44 GMT

    I think it's a good idea to preserve young pacemen in order for them to have long careers especially in Test cricket. I think they should take a look at the South African management and how they manage their fast bowlers. Dale Steyn, the best fast bowler at present has only played 66 ODIs in his career, and now he's the fittest fast bowlers in Int'l cricket.

  • on September 25, 2012, 6:57 GMT

    Just 52-55 days a year? Doesn't leave Starcy with too much up his sleeve after spending the 'summer' in England. Do they count T20 matches in this? Can they really "know" this, or is it more of a probablility thing? Anyway, I think missing Harris for the SA series is the biggest blow right now, still the best fast bowler in the country I think. But with Hilfy, Siddle, Harris, Starc, Cummins and Pattinson there's plenty there to choose from and lots of others joining the queue.

  • on September 25, 2012, 7:06 GMT

    Are four wickets worth all the pain, discomfort and unhappiness a young boy suffers through over bowling and injury?

  • Massive_Allan_Border_Fan on September 25, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    Fascinating article. I've previously been skeptical about bowlers' workloads, but it really does seem the guys work harder these days than in years past. Someone noted on a tv show I was watching recently that Australia's nerdiest cricketer Mike Hussey probably bench presses quite a bit more than a hard-man of days past like Dennis Lillee ever would have. Their bodies are different to a generation ago, and the scientists have the best ideas for how to get the best out of them. Coaches have a role to play too - bowlers like McGrath had such smooth run-ups that injuries were much less likely (of course McGrath was also nowhere near as quick as Pattinson, Cummings and Starc).

  • Meety on September 25, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @Jono Makim - 55 days = 5 x 4day FC matches, + 5 Tests, + say 5 ODIs & 5 T20s. That is not much. The thing that stumps me the most is, why the 25 years of age is the mystery marker? If 55 days is the quota for Cummins, I'd ban him from the Big Bash & Champ League. A FULL Shield campaign (not inc Final) is 40 days! Then there is the Siddles & Hilfys (over 25). Glad that Siddle does not play ODIs & T20s. Oz average between 10 to 14 tests in a calendar year. This suggests that, players MUST be officially rested for Tests! I would imagine in any given 12 month period (assuming Siddle is the first pacer selected), he'd play at least 10 days (probably closer to 14/16) of tour matches, 4 Shield matches (16 days) - ASUMING he does not play List A games, this leaves just under 50 days (or 10 tests). Makes you appreciate how McGrath ended up with well over 120 Tests + ODIs!!!!