Australia in England 2012

De Winter to maintain McDermott method

Brydon Coverdale

June 11, 2012

Comments: 18 | Text size: A | A

Craig McDermott and Brett Lee chat during a training session, Cape Town, October 12, 2011
Ali de Winter wants to continue the work started by Craig McDermott (pictured with Brett Lee) © Getty Images
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Ali de Winter has said he will encourage Australia's fast bowlers to continue following the Craig McDermott method when he takes over as stand-in bowling coach for the tour of England. The Australians fly out on Thursday and for the first time in more than a year, the bowling group will not have McDermott to advise them after his decision to step down last month.

The Tasmania assistant coach de Winter, who narrowly missed out on the job last year when McDermott was appointed, has been asked to fill in for this trip. It will serve as a valuable audition for de Winter, who has applied to become McDermott's full-time replacement, and he said he would be doing his best to keep the bowlers heading in the same direction they were steered by McDermott.

"There's no rocket science to what we do," de Winter told ESPNcricinfo. "It's about keeping things as simple as possible, mechanically as well as tactically. At that level it's purely about executing the plans that we put in place. That's what it boils down to. In the past at Test level they sometimes haven't been able to maintain their plan for long enough periods of time, particularly against the better sides like England and South Africa.

"I share similar views to Craig, certainly about attacking the top of off stump a lot more in Test cricket. One-day cricket will be a little different, but keeping it simple as Craig has in the past 12 months has paid dividends and I think we'd be mad to move too far away from that sort of philosophy."

Despite the short nature of the trip, which includes five ODIs against England and one against Ireland, there will be challenges for de Winter. The bowling group has nine names and includes a legspinner, Steven Smith, and a finger-spinner, Xavier Doherty, as well as seven fast and medium bowlers at varying stages of their careers.

Pat Cummins, 19, will require some extra attention to ensure he is ready for international cricket having not played since his remarkable Test debut in Johannesburg in November, and it is a similar scenario for Mitchell Johnson. That South Africa tour was the last time Johnson played for Australia before a long lay-off due to a foot injury, although poor form meant he had a chance of being dropped in any case.

While Johnson remains some way down the list of Australia's preferred Test bowlers, he has found himself back in the one-day squad for this tour. England does not hold happy memories for Johnson, and de Winter knows it will be up to him to ensure that Johnson is ready to take to the field again whenever the selectors choose him.

"I think it's largely [confidence] with him," de Winter said. "He's got plenty of experience and he knows how to compete. I'll be talking to him and finding out the work he's done with Dennis Lillee, to make sure we stay on the same page. If that stuff has been working for him it's a matter of picking up on what's been done and not getting our wires crossed.

"I think we'd be wise to keep it as simple as we can for Mitch. It's about building confidence and making sure that when he gets his next opportunity, whenever that is, he's got confidence and he knows he can trust his own game. That looked like something he may have lost when he was going through his rough patch."

Johnson won't be the only one who must keep his mind on the job. de Winter knows that plenty of eyes will be on him as the tour unfolds, analysing the way he interacts with the bowlers, assessing his results and determining whether he would be a good fit for a full-time role within the squad.

McDermott had 291 Test wickets to point to; de Winter must impress in other ways. And while he is keen to prove his worth, he is also aware that a clouded mind is as dangerous to coaches as it is to bowlers and batsmen.

"I've thrown my hat into the ring," he said. "I've expressed my interest and I believe I'm through to the next stage. It sounds like they will start doing formal interviews in the third week of July. I have no idea what the rest of the field is like apart from Waqar Younis, who people are talking about.

"I'm looking at the trip at the moment as purely an opportunity to professionally develop rather than feel the pressure of being on trial. That's the way I'm going about it. I've had a chat with Mickey Arthur about a few things, so I have a few things to work on prior to the tour. I'm just trying not to put too much pressure on myself."

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

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Posted by AKS286 on (June 13, 2012, 19:59 GMT)

nothing for spinners very ridiculous. only pacers.

Posted by gogoldengreens on (June 12, 2012, 11:43 GMT)

Stop mucking around and sign up Waqar.... I hope this De Winter is only doing it cause Waqar is busy

Posted by waughjunior on (June 12, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

I have posted this comment on other threads but feel i should do so again, stop mucking around this time and sign up Waqar straight away.

Posted by unregisteredalien on (June 12, 2012, 2:13 GMT)

A lot of talk about de Winter vs Waqar. Like de Winter says, we don't know who else is in the field. How many people correctly predicted the post-Argus appointments of Inverarity or Pat Howard, or for that matter McDermott himself? There could well be some strong, dark horse candidates outside of the usual suspects and the self-promoters.

Posted by Meety on (June 11, 2012, 23:59 GMT)

@Hyclass - correction of mine "...The Saffas were playing their 2nd Test of the series, not their FIRST." FIRST instead of 3rd. @Mervo - imagine if he started with the words, "I want to put my own stamp on the way the things are done, Craig Mac was so last year!"

Posted by Meety on (June 11, 2012, 10:48 GMT)

@hyclass - was agreeing with you until half way thru your 2nd last sentence. The Saffas were playing their 2nd Test of the series, not their 3rd. There are literally hundreds of good or great efforts of the history of cricket where one side has had more current "practice" - if we were to devalue a performance based on the other sides experience, what good or great performances are left? I really dislike devaluing a players performance like Cummin's or for that matter Warner's or Watson's as well. @Cummins_Hazlewood - I look fwd to M Marsh's recovery, however, he would NOT be a good replacement for Huss, (Watto yes, Smith maybe). @hyclass (again) - the "pitch it up" mantra may be an old one, but it is certainly not the only one. For example, Victoria are renowned for banging it in short of a length, something Siddle & Pattinson said it was a hard habit to change. Craig Mac deserves credit, Mickey Arthurs deserves credit, Pup deserves credit & the bowlers themselves deserve the credit 2!

Posted by Mervo on (June 11, 2012, 9:50 GMT)

Like he wsa going to change the approach????

Posted by RandyOZ on (June 11, 2012, 9:08 GMT)

@HatsforBats is spot on the money. Get Waqar in.

Posted by HatsforBats on (June 11, 2012, 8:48 GMT)

@ hyclass, strange comments re: Cummins. You predicted an injury to a teenage fast bowler who had previously suffered an injury due to being a fast bowler? Remarkable, never mind that the two seperate injuries were unrelated, 'tis a meaningless detail. As for his test wickets; SA had recently just won the first test, they were hardly deprived of match practice. The identity of his wickets? Amla (fresh from scoring a dashing centruy in the 1st test), Kallis, de Villiers...easy wickets indeed. Just give the boy some credit and leave the conspiracy theories where they belong.

Posted by HatsforBats on (June 11, 2012, 8:17 GMT)

Surely this is a no-contest between de Winter & Waqar? What could de Winter possibly bring to the table that Waqar couldn't? Hilfenhaus's return of form can be attributed as much to his improved health as to the work done under de Winter. You can't help but feel Starc, Cummins, & Pattinson would benefit more under the vastly more experienced Waqar.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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