India in Australia 2011-12 December 31, 2011

Australian attack could become world's best - Arthur

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Australia's attack could become the best in the world, according to the coach Mickey Arthur. The Australians arrived in Sydney on Saturday ahead of the second Test against India, which starts on January 3 at the SCG, and they go into the game with a 1-0 lead following the strong performance of their three fast bowlers in Melbourne.

James Pattinson was Man of the Match for the second time in his three-Test career, Ben Hilfenhaus showed how much he has improved over the past year, and Peter Siddle's aggression and skill helped him dismiss Sachin Tendulkar in both innings. Australia are expected to retain the attack, which also includes the offspinner Nathan Lyon, in Sydney.

However, Ryan Harris has also joined the squad after recovering from his injuries, and as a proven Test performer will be ready should any member of the incumbent trio falter. The 18-year-old Pat Cummins, who made a remarkable debut in Johannesburg in November, will also be in the mix whenever he recovers fully from his foot problem.

Over the past few months, Australia have also used Mitchell Starc and Trent Copeland, while Shane Watson's medium pace will also be important when he returns to the side. Arthur said he was impressed by the depth in the pace stocks.

"I thought we had 15 players that can play international cricket at any given time," Arthur told reporters on Saturday. "Hopefully by the end of the summer we might have 22 guys that can do that because we need to build up our strength in depth, which we are doing now. But I do think this pace attack has the potential to become the best in the world."

Between them, the fast men took 19 of India's wickets at the MCG, the only exception being the final dismissal of the match, when Umesh Yadav lofted Lyon to long-on. However, Arthur did not expect a four-man pace attack to be on the cards at the SCG, despite the presence of Harris in the squad.

"I'm pretty loath to go into any Test match without a spinner," Arthur said. "Obviously conditions will determine that, but the SCG has normally got a history of favouring spin down the line.

"There is absolutely no doubt that they [India] will try and go after him [Lyon]," Arthur said. "But Nathan is a pretty skilful offspinner and I reckon that will develop into a very interesting contest. I think we'll get a lot of overs out of Nathan if it's a typical SCG wicket and I've got full confidence in his ability."

Arthur was also confident that Australia's top order could do the job against India, including Shaun Marsh, who was out to poor strokes in both innings in Melbourne. Together with David Warner and Ed Cowan, Marsh is part of an inexperienced top three, but Arthur believes they can become a strong group.

"I think we just need to give them time, especially our younger players at one, two and three," Arthur said. "David Warner is going to be a great player in all three forms of the game, same with Shaun Marsh. I think Ed Cowan gave us that stability that we were looking for, especially in the first innings."

The Australians will train at the SCG on Sunday morning.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • jplterrors on January 4, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    @TimmyW and Joshua Kyall noone is not saying the current lot and the bowlers from the late 80s were not gd ones the analogy was simply that they would leave the game with similar legacies not as the worlds best. Except for maybe Pattinson who could surpass Bruce Reid. You cant say that NZs attack dosent compare either; name me a current test spinner with over 300 wickets? DANIEL VETTORI. Name me the 2015 world cup champs NEW ZEALAND!!!!

  • dummy4fb on January 2, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    jplterrors you're a joke mate. NZ's attack doesn't compare to the best attacks, let alone Australia! That 80s attack you mentioned also, McDermott, Hughes & Reid were all highly successful fast bowlers. Comments smacks of naivety!

  • AJF.da.man.94 on January 2, 2012, 7:21 GMT

    I'm sick to death of Lyon getting talked up all the time. I don't understand why Nathan Hauritz has not been called back to the Australian side I mean the guy only had one bad tour of India and then he gets kicked out by

    1. Xavier Doherty: KP had a suspected weakness againsrt left arm spin, made 226 2. Steve Smith: Looks like Shane Warne, can't land six balls in the same spot 3. Michael Beer: Who is he? No one knew him until he got picked 4. Nathan Lyon: Got a five-for on debut v Sri-Lanka and the quicks have dominated since.

    Hauritz has taken 63 wickets in 17 Tests but what I don't understand is how is someone who has less experience get the nod ahead of him??

    In saying that, we don't necessarily need a spinner on a pitch that will provide the quicks with assistance through the whole match, we just need them to bowl six balls in the same spot each over. Indians are probably the best players of spin in the world anyway so for the next two tests I would drop Lyon and include Harris

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 0:19 GMT

    @dms1972 - well said mate. Eng fans have had enough of him too. England were turning over india for fun in all formats back in the English Summer. All he could say was that india were "ravaged" by injury, that the 4-0 Test whitewash was a "Fluke", and that it didn't count because it wasn't in india. Well, England also had 2 injured players out, and as for the result being a "Fluke" - 4-0 and 2 Innings victories has got to be the most amazing "Fluke" in the whole history of cricket, at any level. Please publish.

  • zenboomerang on January 1, 2012, 22:29 GMT

    The best bowlers?... Does that include all pitches?... Some of the best bowlers have yet to prove themselves against India, SL & Pakistan (at home) to be the best, let alone as a team... In comparing our new bowlers against a top team does give us some hope... i.e. in Joburg we out bowled Steyn, Morkel, Philander, Kallis, Tahir with 1st Test player Cummins (7wkts), Lyon (4wkts), Siddle (3wkts), Watson (1wkt) who could only get into his 4th over (1st innings) before injury, Johnson 46 overs 168 runs for 2 wkts... No Harris, Pattinson, Hilfenhaus, Starc, Copeland... At least we don't have to carry Johnson any more...

  • timmyw on January 1, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    @ jplterrors - you realise those bowlers you just compared to each other are absolutely nothing like each other right? Siddle is like McDermott is he? McDermott liked to pitch it up and swing it away on offstump. Siddle has never done that in his life. The Hilf and Hughes? Well, Hilf is a swing bowler and Merv was a block of bricks with eyes and a huge mo who bounced people a lot and used cutters. Reid and Cummins? The only thing they have in common is that one had a moustache and one is really young (see what I did there?). I think this pace attack has a lot of potential, but Cummins best first class game was his debut test, you have to remember that. Harris needs sticky tape to keep going. Pattinson looks the goods. I wanna see if Siddles new found accuracy and pace stays for two tests in a row, he isn't the most consistent of performers. Let's see some consistency before we start talking about being the best in the world. The best being South Africa followed by England currently.

  • dummy4fb on January 1, 2012, 13:58 GMT

    @RandyOz... swann has been playing for 2 years only i think, his bowling is really good and attacking, unliek harbhajan.

  • dummy4fb on January 1, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    pakistan has mediocare attack bangladesh batsman scored hundred against them even lanka lanka lost due to poor bowling pakistan just played against weaker team 132 truddlers wont win you match against great teams india has great bowling attack and m talking about current new guys yadav super quick even ian chappel praised him and aaron super quick ishant just 22 bowling 150 over 100 wickets cheema 32 truddler smashed against good team bet on me except junaid everybody is ordinary it will be proved agaist spinners but pakistani spinners are best in world honestly there fast bowlers are no fear like aamir was akhtar was akram and waqar if we leave aamir who was not that quick but skillfull pakistan has not produced genuine quickie since akhter yadav could be next steyn 7wickets in debut against aussie is not a joke dude

  • RandyOZ on January 1, 2012, 11:04 GMT

    The English attack you'd have to rank below Pakistan, Oz and SA. Swann has less than 200 test wickets even though everyone makes him sound good. Considering he's 32 he'll be gone soon. Tremlett and Bresnan are cannon fodder, Finn is pedestrian compared to Pattinson/Cummins, Broad is useless outside England and Anderson is a struggling journeyman. They are going to be blitzed by Pakistan.

  • kasyapm on January 1, 2012, 9:06 GMT

    Won't get into the arguments about the current best pace attack...but I am pretty excited about the general bowling prospects worldwide..Eng has an excellent attack, SA with steyn, Morkel & now the debutantes, Aus with emerging guys like Cummins & Pattinson, Pak with their unending supply of pacers, NZ with Bracewell are all exciting to watch. The other countries (Ind, SL, WI) are not far behind, but I would like to see a few more good spinners emerging who can entertain us the way Warne, Murali & Kumble did.

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