Australia news October 16, 2013

McDermott returns as Test bowling coach

20

Craig McDermott has been recalled to mentor Australia's Test match bowlers on the eve of the home Ashes series, as part of a new split configuration that leaves his successor Ali de Winter in charge of the ODI and Twenty20 formats. Personal reasons had ended McDermott's highly successful first stint as bowling coach in 2011-12, but he is now back in position to guide the pace attack sharing the heavy touring load with de Winter.

Following McDermott's instructions to keep the ball up to the bat and tempt the drive, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Ryan Harris and Ben Hilfenhaus all enjoyed significant success during his earlier tenure. During that time Australia won series in Sri Lanka, the West India and at home to India while also taking 20 wickets regularly in drawn series against South Africa and New Zealand.

The team's results have fallen away since, though the pace bowling attack has remained Australia's strongest suit, performing capably in England despite a 3-0 series margin. McDermott took on a range of roles after his departure, coaching Ireland's bowlers at the World T20 in Sri Lanka later in 2012 and resuming work at the Centre of Excellence, where he had first shown promise as a mentor to the crop of young bowlers passing through Brisbane. He also started his own network of coaching academies, but had been eager to return to the national team for some time.

The appointment of McDermott and de Winter to oversee separate formats may not be the last such decision, as the team performance manager Pat Howard seeks to specialise coaches to seek better results but also more chance for support staff to avoid the not-so-merry-go-round of constant touring.

"Appointing coaches to specific roles is something the Team Performance Department has been considering for some time," Howard said. "Given the amount of cricket played now in all three forms of the game, we've been considering our coaching structure to get the best out of the players across the various formats.

"We also feel that with the amount of touring now it is extremely difficult for every member of the support staff to be on every tour. As we've seen in more recent times we've swapped our support staff at particular moments to ensure everyone is fresh and energised and the feedback on that has been very positive."

For his part, de Winter warmed to the greater focus of his new role, particularly with next year's World T20 and the 2015 World Cup creeping closer by the month. "I enjoy both forms of the limited overs game and welcome the challenge of working with the bowlers on specific preparation and tactical awareness for each of these formats," de Winter said. "We have some work to do between now and each of the world events and I'm looking forward to focussing on contributing to returning Australia to the number 1 ranking in T20 and ODI cricket."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on October 17, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Excellent news. I understand that he resigned the first time due to the time requirements of a multi format job so it makes sense to allow him to deal with the format that matters. Siddle and Pattinson were the two that flourished under him and it is informative that he says he has seen the problems with Siddle already. Agree that Johnson should be recalled from India and all the fast bowlers go to him for a pre series reboot before the Shield starts.

  • KARNAWAT33 on October 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Big Craig is obviously a very good choice for a bowling mentor. But, Australia's main concern is the spin department. They have an alley of young pace bowlers who will blossom in the near future, but post WARNE the spinners have been an absolute let down (barring Brad Hogg). Australia till date picks up wickets at the top of the innings. But the main problem is finishing the innings off. The tail enders have been a major problem, which need to be taken care of, for its high time the Urn comes back where it belongs. #OZZE OZZE OZZE! OYOYOY :)

  • Clavers on October 17, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    I agree with all your points Barnsey4444, but I would note that Johnson has already improved his consistency; try finding a bad Johnson bowling performance during the past two years. He should get a bit more credit for that.

    But if Billy can get still more out of him, more power to them both.

  • Flemo_Gilly on October 17, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Gread apointment, can't wait to see him work with our younger bowlers

  • Mary_786 on October 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Great decision CA, he is the bets bowling coach in the country

  • Teachers on October 17, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Agree with Rabscope, did it need McDermott to teach highly paid fast bowlers something elementary? If pitching the ball up is the right recipe, will the English bowlers not do the same thing? As Dangertroy says, perhaps the bowlers just all clicked a few summers ago. Perhaps Indian batsmen did not adjust to pitched up bowling that the English batsmen may do this summer. Whatever the case, it looks like Cooley and de Winter could not deliver like McDermott did. I just hope he can do it again.

  • Barnesy4444 on October 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    This may mean McDermott is actually able to tour with the test team also. I can't see too many bad things with this arrangement. Short term if he can reduce injuries and get Johnson to be more consistent we will get 20 wickets most games. Longer term Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Bird are the future of our test bowling line-up.

  • hhillbumper on October 17, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    well that's it then.England are going to get destroyed by the greatest pace bowling attack ever.Do you want us to put the trophy on a plane and save ourselves the embarrassment? We know that you will destroy us like you have so many times recently.It seems like years since we last won the Ashes. It would appear that with McDermotts secret weapon of pitching the ball up we can just all go home now.

  • Matt. on October 17, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    I'm so happy right now!!! I still can't believe the difference he made in the aussie bowlers the first time round. Best decision CA have made in a long time

  • xtrafalgarx on October 17, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @Rabscope, Peter Siddle before 2012 and after 2012 are completely different bowlers. That coincided with McDermott's introduction, he is probably the best example.

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on October 17, 2013, 7:57 GMT

    Excellent news. I understand that he resigned the first time due to the time requirements of a multi format job so it makes sense to allow him to deal with the format that matters. Siddle and Pattinson were the two that flourished under him and it is informative that he says he has seen the problems with Siddle already. Agree that Johnson should be recalled from India and all the fast bowlers go to him for a pre series reboot before the Shield starts.

  • KARNAWAT33 on October 17, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    Big Craig is obviously a very good choice for a bowling mentor. But, Australia's main concern is the spin department. They have an alley of young pace bowlers who will blossom in the near future, but post WARNE the spinners have been an absolute let down (barring Brad Hogg). Australia till date picks up wickets at the top of the innings. But the main problem is finishing the innings off. The tail enders have been a major problem, which need to be taken care of, for its high time the Urn comes back where it belongs. #OZZE OZZE OZZE! OYOYOY :)

  • Clavers on October 17, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    I agree with all your points Barnsey4444, but I would note that Johnson has already improved his consistency; try finding a bad Johnson bowling performance during the past two years. He should get a bit more credit for that.

    But if Billy can get still more out of him, more power to them both.

  • Flemo_Gilly on October 17, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    Gread apointment, can't wait to see him work with our younger bowlers

  • Mary_786 on October 17, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    Great decision CA, he is the bets bowling coach in the country

  • Teachers on October 17, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Agree with Rabscope, did it need McDermott to teach highly paid fast bowlers something elementary? If pitching the ball up is the right recipe, will the English bowlers not do the same thing? As Dangertroy says, perhaps the bowlers just all clicked a few summers ago. Perhaps Indian batsmen did not adjust to pitched up bowling that the English batsmen may do this summer. Whatever the case, it looks like Cooley and de Winter could not deliver like McDermott did. I just hope he can do it again.

  • Barnesy4444 on October 17, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    This may mean McDermott is actually able to tour with the test team also. I can't see too many bad things with this arrangement. Short term if he can reduce injuries and get Johnson to be more consistent we will get 20 wickets most games. Longer term Pattinson, Starc, Cummins and Bird are the future of our test bowling line-up.

  • hhillbumper on October 17, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    well that's it then.England are going to get destroyed by the greatest pace bowling attack ever.Do you want us to put the trophy on a plane and save ourselves the embarrassment? We know that you will destroy us like you have so many times recently.It seems like years since we last won the Ashes. It would appear that with McDermotts secret weapon of pitching the ball up we can just all go home now.

  • Matt. on October 17, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    I'm so happy right now!!! I still can't believe the difference he made in the aussie bowlers the first time round. Best decision CA have made in a long time

  • xtrafalgarx on October 17, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    @Rabscope, Peter Siddle before 2012 and after 2012 are completely different bowlers. That coincided with McDermott's introduction, he is probably the best example.

  • Rabscope on October 17, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    "Following McDermott's instructions to keep the ball up to the bat and tempt the drive,...enjoyed significant success". How can this be such a great piece of advise unknown to the quality bowlers mentioned above?? Makes no sense.

  • vj_gooner on October 17, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    McDermott shouldn't have been let go of in the first place. Good decision to bring him back.

    Urn will return to Australia!!!

  • venkatesh018 on October 17, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Great news for Australian Cricket. Batsman Cook beware. You are in for a hiding.

  • Dangertroy on October 17, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    I wonder if Pat Howard will be advocating for separate performance managers for each format? Still, a good move to bring in McDermott. Will be interesting to see if he can take the bowlers up a level again, whether it was his guidance or whether the bowlers just all clicked a few summers ago.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on October 17, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Thats a very good decision. One another thing need to be done. Call Johnson back from India after 3rd ODI. Even without his presence scoreline is going to be something like 4-3 either way, teams are that evenly matched. Coulter-Nile would be a good replacement for him there. He is cranking it up there, and with this form in need to be in Ashes squad rather than breakdown there bowling on unhelpful tracks (ever wonder why don't we produce fast bowlers). And Johnson getting a bit of 4-day practice and big Mc to oversee, English would be bit worried for their fingers.

  • 1ofakind_testcricket on October 17, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    This is great news for the Australian team. Australian fast bowlers were missing something in the years between Mcgraths retirement and the time when McDermott took the reigns for his first stint as bowling coach. I would have liked to have seen Lehmann take up McDermott's offer to be bowling coach during the away Ashes series as he would have got Pattinson bowling properly - may have been enough to pinch a test or two before his injury. Australia's real weakness is going to be the batting line up with a number of players struggling. Rogers, Katich, Watson, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin would probably have the English side a little worried. May CA never mismanage a team over so many years again, please. The only player that prob would be retired anyway would have been Ponting so Smith could bat six, or Hodge or Bailey. Australia is still a strong batting and bowling side, just weak in selection.

  • mukundnarayan on October 17, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Only an adept Aussie bowling can save The Ashes from going England's way and finally their management has heard the cries. Gearing up for another Ashes fest soon :)

  • heathrf1974 on October 17, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    This is good news for Australian cricket. He did a good job when he was there.

  • on October 17, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Seen as though these guys produced the trash bowling last night I can see the Aussies not getting any better in the bowling department. Once again, the bowlers crumble when defending a huge total. THAT is the real weakness of Aussies cricket. Not the batting

  • ShutTheGate on October 17, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Great news! We just need our seamers to quickly rehabilitate.

  • ShutTheGate on October 17, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Great news! We just need our seamers to quickly rehabilitate.

  • on October 17, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    Seen as though these guys produced the trash bowling last night I can see the Aussies not getting any better in the bowling department. Once again, the bowlers crumble when defending a huge total. THAT is the real weakness of Aussies cricket. Not the batting

  • heathrf1974 on October 17, 2013, 2:18 GMT

    This is good news for Australian cricket. He did a good job when he was there.

  • mukundnarayan on October 17, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    Only an adept Aussie bowling can save The Ashes from going England's way and finally their management has heard the cries. Gearing up for another Ashes fest soon :)

  • 1ofakind_testcricket on October 17, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    This is great news for the Australian team. Australian fast bowlers were missing something in the years between Mcgraths retirement and the time when McDermott took the reigns for his first stint as bowling coach. I would have liked to have seen Lehmann take up McDermott's offer to be bowling coach during the away Ashes series as he would have got Pattinson bowling properly - may have been enough to pinch a test or two before his injury. Australia's real weakness is going to be the batting line up with a number of players struggling. Rogers, Katich, Watson, Clarke, Ponting, Hussey, Haddin would probably have the English side a little worried. May CA never mismanage a team over so many years again, please. The only player that prob would be retired anyway would have been Ponting so Smith could bat six, or Hodge or Bailey. Australia is still a strong batting and bowling side, just weak in selection.

  • ReverseSweepIndia on October 17, 2013, 3:50 GMT

    Thats a very good decision. One another thing need to be done. Call Johnson back from India after 3rd ODI. Even without his presence scoreline is going to be something like 4-3 either way, teams are that evenly matched. Coulter-Nile would be a good replacement for him there. He is cranking it up there, and with this form in need to be in Ashes squad rather than breakdown there bowling on unhelpful tracks (ever wonder why don't we produce fast bowlers). And Johnson getting a bit of 4-day practice and big Mc to oversee, English would be bit worried for their fingers.

  • Dangertroy on October 17, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    I wonder if Pat Howard will be advocating for separate performance managers for each format? Still, a good move to bring in McDermott. Will be interesting to see if he can take the bowlers up a level again, whether it was his guidance or whether the bowlers just all clicked a few summers ago.

  • venkatesh018 on October 17, 2013, 6:46 GMT

    Great news for Australian Cricket. Batsman Cook beware. You are in for a hiding.

  • vj_gooner on October 17, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    McDermott shouldn't have been let go of in the first place. Good decision to bring him back.

    Urn will return to Australia!!!

  • Rabscope on October 17, 2013, 7:22 GMT

    "Following McDermott's instructions to keep the ball up to the bat and tempt the drive,...enjoyed significant success". How can this be such a great piece of advise unknown to the quality bowlers mentioned above?? Makes no sense.