Bowl at Boycs March 14, 2013

'Not many back-up pace options for England'

ESPNcricinfo staff
Geoff Boycott says England's fast-bowling cupboard will not be in great shape after the next two Ashes series
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ST: Coming to Geoffrey's favourite question for this show, it's from Gary Thompson in Australia. He says: I'm a passionate England fan living in Australia and I love a bit of banter with my Aussie mates and colleagues. I reckon currently we're a much better side, especially in the batting and spin-bowling departments. But they brag about this great crop of young quicks like Pattinson, Cummins and Bird that they've got coming through, which I tend to agree with. So my question is, which young English quicks do you see coming through the county game? Who is the next James Anderson to step into the side in a couple of years? And who can currently challenge Broad and Finn for that third-seamer spot in the side?

GB: Wow, some questions there. First of all, when your friends in Australia tease you about their crop of fast bowlers, they are absolutely right - they have a very good crop, they are talented. But you want to say to them, "Listen, you've got to keep them fit and get them on the park if they're going to be any good, because they are always breaking down and finishing up in hospital. You need a free pass to go and visit them in hospital because they are always going there."

They are very good, and we have a problem here in England. We have enough bowlers for the next two Ashes series, in England, coming up this summer, and when we go to Australia in 2013-14. We do have the three that matter, with Anderson, Steven Finn and Stuart Broad. We're fine with those three. Our problem comes with our back-up, and we haven't really got any. The guy who should be bowling well is Graham Onions, who bowled fantastically four years ago in England in the Ashes. He's not been seen since, he's been carried around in the squad, he never plays, all he does is bowl in the nets, and his bowling is going backwards. He's not able to get into the side and it's quite dispiriting.

"We're alright in England for the next two [Ashes] series. After that, it's a big question mark."
Geoffrey Boycott on England's fast bowling

Tim Bresnan has got an elbow injury; he has gone back to Yorkshire. I think he is a very average bowler. I don't think he is going to frighten anybody. I know he's from Yorkshire, but that doesn't bother me. I give you a professional opinion. I think he bowls too wide on the crease. I think he is a fill-in bowler. He's not really going to worry top batsmen.

We are looking at young kids, and there aren't any. Stuart Meaker of Surrey - sorry, that's not going to bother people at Test level. Maybe one-day cricket, yes. The kid who they're looking at most of all is James Harris from Glamorgan. Four or five counties were after him, Yorkshire included, but he's chosen Middlesex. He's gone straight into the one-day squad. They're watching him very carefully, they think he has a bit of something that might develop. The cupboard is not bare, but it's certainly not good.

We have a boy from Yorkshire who has looked up. We signed up a boy from Northants called Jack Brooks. He's quite a decent bowler, and he looked very good a couple of years ago. Again, he hasn't really gone forward. Yorkshire have taken a punt on him, paid him some good money, hoped to get him fit to bowl well.

But if you ask me, hand on heart, do I think the Aussie fast bowling is better than ours for the future, yes it is. They have a much better crop of young quicks but there is a big question mark about breaking down. In the end it doesn't matter how many quicks you have: if they're not on the park, they are no good to themselves and they are no good to anybody else.

Look at Cummins. He bowled fantastic in Johannesburg - quick outswingers. He's had a bad injury for a long time. This is a problem. A lot of the new, young quick bowlers around the world break down easily. They don't stay fit. So we're all right in England for the next two series. After that, it's a big question mark. Ask me that in a year's time and we might be in trouble in England.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • brusselslion on March 14, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    I think that Boycott has a point. We must recognise that Anderson is now approaching the Veteran stage; if we are lucky we might get another 4/5 years out of him but, relaistically, we are looking at 2. Hopefully, Finn will continue his development and remain injury-free so that's OK. Broad? Well, we need to see this summer whether he is back to his best. Of the others: Roland Jones, Topley, Woakes, Harris, & Shahzad, Overton. All promising no doubt but, all are untested and none are lightning fast. Onions, Bres .. hum?? Compared to the Aussies, I think that we are behind when it comes to seam bowlers 2-5 years down the line. Of course, a couple of new guys may arrive on the scene in the meantime; let's hope so.

    BTW: I don't think that we should even consider Tremlett at the moment. I'm a big fan however, he has not bowled a ball in anger in almost 18 months and it's not clear whether he will be back to his best. Moreover, he is 31 so it's a short term move at best.

  • blink182alex on March 17, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    @protears, i said South Africa do have the best pace attack and by a long way in my opinion. However, the fact that name people like Tsotobe and to a lesser extent Klienvelt as decent back up bowlers proves my point. Our 6th or 7th in line is Mitchell Johnson and he is far better than Tsotobe.

    @sirviv1973, you make a fair point, Overton, Topley and Tymal Mills all have good pace and i expect them to play for england in the next 3-5 years. But it's the likes of Woakes and Roland-Jones who if they where to play tests now would be way out of their depth. There is a difference opening the bowling for Mdx in a side where there is at the most 2 former international players than say NCN bowling for WA against a side like VIC that will have around 8-9 former or current internationals. Plus with the exception of Hastings all our young quicks have come in and done well straight away, Pattinson, Cummins, Starc, Bird etc.

  • SirViv1973 on March 15, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    @blink182alex, What makes you think that unproven Aus quicks such as Hazelwood,Sandhu,Coulter Nile, Mcdermott & Sayers will turn out to be better than Woakes,Roland Jones, Overton,Topley or Harris? The truth is all 10 bowlers I have mentioned are unproven at the highest level so nobody at this stage knows how good any of them really are.

  • SirViv1973 on March 15, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @Moz, There isn't a team in world cricket who has a bench full proven test class batsman.Even as strong as SAF are if they suddenly lost Amla & Devilliers to inuries they would struggle to replace them. In over 30 yrs of watching the game the only time I can every rememeber a team who had undisputed strength in their batting reserves were Aus a few yrs ago when guys like Hodge,Love,Lehmann, Jaques & the 2 Hussey's couldn't get a game. It also has to be said that Batsman don't tend to miss that many games once they are in the side so you don't need to same strength in depth as with your fast bowlers.

  • aracer on March 15, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    @Moz - I disagree about the batting options - Buttler, Bairstow, Taylor, Hales, just to name 4 young batsmen who can't get a game for England - Bairstow and Taylor both have better FC averages than3 o Australia's current top 5. Bopara and Morgan would be getting another go right now if they were Australian. Definitely bowling where we're more short of options.

  • venkatesh018 on March 15, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Any chance Stuart Meaker for Tests ? He is pacy and looks like he has potential.

  • Protears on March 15, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    It's actually nice to hear an ex-England player who's now in the media speak properly about Australia. Our batting is our weakness, whilst Lyon is good but not Shane Warne. But our quick bowling is stacked, even South Africa don't have the strength in depth that we have (although they have the best pace attack). - Blink182Alex.

    Steyn, Morkel and Philander have proven international cricket pedigree. Abbott and De Lange have taken 8 and 9 wickets on debut, Klienveldt is improving every game he plays. Shaun Von Berg, Chris Morris, Tsotsobe also in the mix each with different skill sets. There is plenty depth in South African cricket, just foolish to expect new players to be Dale Steyn, who many forget was dropped for 2-3 years to become the best bowler for the best part of 6 years.

  • on March 15, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    I wonder ppl have absoluetely forgotten chris tremlett...what a talent he displayed in ashes in australia n also as well with indians in england!!! Where this lad is??

  • blink182alex on March 14, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    It's actually nice to hear an ex-England player who's now in the media speak properly about Australia. Our batting is our weakness, whilst Lyon is good but not Shane Warne. But our quick bowling is stacked, even South Africa don't have the strength in depth that we have (although they have the best pace attack).

    Anderson is excellent, but remember Finn and Finn have had injury problems lately, Bresnan is a 4th seamer really, he needs bowler friendly conditions to be effective. Onions isn't the same after his injury, Tremlett is always injured. And that's about it really, the others Roland-Jones, Woakes etc don't have the pace or the movement to cause problems against top teams.

    Fast forward to 2015 Ashes, we have Siddle, Starc, Pattinson. Cummins, Hazlewood, Sandhu, NCN, Cutting, McDermott, Faukner, Hilfy, Bird, Johnson, Sayers, Joel Paris. All we need is to bring in a couple of South Africans to bat for us just like England do.

  • Moz. on March 14, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    I think that not having back-up pace options is one thing, but a bigger issue is that there is little on the bench in terms of batting. England have a good top 6 (well, actually, a good top 7), but who else is knocking on the door? A couple of injuries would see England's batting depth seriously exposed.

  • brusselslion on March 14, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    I think that Boycott has a point. We must recognise that Anderson is now approaching the Veteran stage; if we are lucky we might get another 4/5 years out of him but, relaistically, we are looking at 2. Hopefully, Finn will continue his development and remain injury-free so that's OK. Broad? Well, we need to see this summer whether he is back to his best. Of the others: Roland Jones, Topley, Woakes, Harris, & Shahzad, Overton. All promising no doubt but, all are untested and none are lightning fast. Onions, Bres .. hum?? Compared to the Aussies, I think that we are behind when it comes to seam bowlers 2-5 years down the line. Of course, a couple of new guys may arrive on the scene in the meantime; let's hope so.

    BTW: I don't think that we should even consider Tremlett at the moment. I'm a big fan however, he has not bowled a ball in anger in almost 18 months and it's not clear whether he will be back to his best. Moreover, he is 31 so it's a short term move at best.

  • blink182alex on March 17, 2013, 23:00 GMT

    @protears, i said South Africa do have the best pace attack and by a long way in my opinion. However, the fact that name people like Tsotobe and to a lesser extent Klienvelt as decent back up bowlers proves my point. Our 6th or 7th in line is Mitchell Johnson and he is far better than Tsotobe.

    @sirviv1973, you make a fair point, Overton, Topley and Tymal Mills all have good pace and i expect them to play for england in the next 3-5 years. But it's the likes of Woakes and Roland-Jones who if they where to play tests now would be way out of their depth. There is a difference opening the bowling for Mdx in a side where there is at the most 2 former international players than say NCN bowling for WA against a side like VIC that will have around 8-9 former or current internationals. Plus with the exception of Hastings all our young quicks have come in and done well straight away, Pattinson, Cummins, Starc, Bird etc.

  • SirViv1973 on March 15, 2013, 17:36 GMT

    @blink182alex, What makes you think that unproven Aus quicks such as Hazelwood,Sandhu,Coulter Nile, Mcdermott & Sayers will turn out to be better than Woakes,Roland Jones, Overton,Topley or Harris? The truth is all 10 bowlers I have mentioned are unproven at the highest level so nobody at this stage knows how good any of them really are.

  • SirViv1973 on March 15, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @Moz, There isn't a team in world cricket who has a bench full proven test class batsman.Even as strong as SAF are if they suddenly lost Amla & Devilliers to inuries they would struggle to replace them. In over 30 yrs of watching the game the only time I can every rememeber a team who had undisputed strength in their batting reserves were Aus a few yrs ago when guys like Hodge,Love,Lehmann, Jaques & the 2 Hussey's couldn't get a game. It also has to be said that Batsman don't tend to miss that many games once they are in the side so you don't need to same strength in depth as with your fast bowlers.

  • aracer on March 15, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    @Moz - I disagree about the batting options - Buttler, Bairstow, Taylor, Hales, just to name 4 young batsmen who can't get a game for England - Bairstow and Taylor both have better FC averages than3 o Australia's current top 5. Bopara and Morgan would be getting another go right now if they were Australian. Definitely bowling where we're more short of options.

  • venkatesh018 on March 15, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    Any chance Stuart Meaker for Tests ? He is pacy and looks like he has potential.

  • Protears on March 15, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    It's actually nice to hear an ex-England player who's now in the media speak properly about Australia. Our batting is our weakness, whilst Lyon is good but not Shane Warne. But our quick bowling is stacked, even South Africa don't have the strength in depth that we have (although they have the best pace attack). - Blink182Alex.

    Steyn, Morkel and Philander have proven international cricket pedigree. Abbott and De Lange have taken 8 and 9 wickets on debut, Klienveldt is improving every game he plays. Shaun Von Berg, Chris Morris, Tsotsobe also in the mix each with different skill sets. There is plenty depth in South African cricket, just foolish to expect new players to be Dale Steyn, who many forget was dropped for 2-3 years to become the best bowler for the best part of 6 years.

  • on March 15, 2013, 4:26 GMT

    I wonder ppl have absoluetely forgotten chris tremlett...what a talent he displayed in ashes in australia n also as well with indians in england!!! Where this lad is??

  • blink182alex on March 14, 2013, 22:52 GMT

    It's actually nice to hear an ex-England player who's now in the media speak properly about Australia. Our batting is our weakness, whilst Lyon is good but not Shane Warne. But our quick bowling is stacked, even South Africa don't have the strength in depth that we have (although they have the best pace attack).

    Anderson is excellent, but remember Finn and Finn have had injury problems lately, Bresnan is a 4th seamer really, he needs bowler friendly conditions to be effective. Onions isn't the same after his injury, Tremlett is always injured. And that's about it really, the others Roland-Jones, Woakes etc don't have the pace or the movement to cause problems against top teams.

    Fast forward to 2015 Ashes, we have Siddle, Starc, Pattinson. Cummins, Hazlewood, Sandhu, NCN, Cutting, McDermott, Faukner, Hilfy, Bird, Johnson, Sayers, Joel Paris. All we need is to bring in a couple of South Africans to bat for us just like England do.

  • Moz. on March 14, 2013, 20:39 GMT

    I think that not having back-up pace options is one thing, but a bigger issue is that there is little on the bench in terms of batting. England have a good top 6 (well, actually, a good top 7), but who else is knocking on the door? A couple of injuries would see England's batting depth seriously exposed.

  • Jaffa79 on March 14, 2013, 20:32 GMT

    It is hard to say at the moment; 2 years is a long time in international cricket and players can arrive or depart the scene very quickly. Bresnan has a lot of work to do before he can convince me that he is a Test bowler again. Tremlett of 2009 would be a huge addition to any team but is he ever going to get back there? I have reservations, just as I have about Ryan Harris or Cummins ever being relevent again. Topley and Overton look good although both are very green and will need to gain consistency in CC before being considered. I don't know why people are saying Onions is finished; he might have played poorly in a warm up in NZ after months on the sidelines but he'll come again. As for Woakes, I just don't see him getting out quality batsmen. Perhaps he could do a job as a 4th seamer but thats about it.

  • pussatina on March 14, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    Jonesy2 - not sure on what your analysis of Anderson is based on? I am guessing you are Australian but Ian Chappell has a much higher view of our bowlers especially Anderson ( you can read his latest views online) t Finn bowls regularly over 90mph, so medium pace, I am assuming you are being deliberatley obtuse to provoke a reaction. At the moment Johnson, Lyon & Maxwell aren't going to frighten anyone.

  • SirViv1973 on March 14, 2013, 18:13 GMT

    I also think maybe a bit too much has been made of Oz current quick bowling options. I would say Pattinson is certainly their best & providing he stays fit I would predict big things from him. Siddle is leader of the attack & is an honest bowler but not much better than that & was smashed out the team by the Eng's batsman in 2010-11. When Johnson gets the ball to swing hes a handful, but that has been rare occurrence in reason years & he shouldl be seen as a liability. Starc has talent but is still largely unproven so the jury is very much out on him. Harris is another honest no frills type who has done well in his short test career but it looks certain injuries will deprive Aus of his services going forward. Bird is barley worth a mention as 2 test against SRL at home doesn't prove anything & Hilfenhaus, like PS smashed out the team during the last ashes. Then there's Cummins the guy hasn't played a FC game for 18 mths so there's nothing more to say about him really.

  • SirViv1973 on March 14, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    I think it's fair comment from Boycs. A couple of yrs ago I would have confidently said that we had 7 bowlers who were good enough for tests but that isn't the case now. At this moment I would say we only have 3 in (Anderson,Broad,Finn) I'm hoping Bres & Tremlett will both be able to get back in to contention during the summer but they are both out of the picture right now. The other 2 were Onions & Shazad, both have had their problems & need cricket, but I wouldn't have confidence in either of them right now. Of the other contenders Woakes is currently the best placed but question marks remain how efficetive he can be at the pace he bowls. Meaker was looking like he was next inline but the selectors seem to have gone cold on him. Harris & Roland Jones are then probably the next guys to consider but the same question marks would hang over them as CW. Topley may prove to be best prospect but needs at least another fc with Essex before he can seriously be considered.

  • on March 14, 2013, 17:40 GMT

    Totally agree with Boycs on Onions, hes going downhill because not playing is seriously dispiriting to him. While he was in the squad no one actually wanted to drop him, & I bet he would have stayed if not for the injury. Similar thing happened with Napier in the T20 World Cup when he was in the squad but never played even a warm up & after an injury in the team, he was still put on bench. What i think is we shoudnt loose a player like Onions.

  • NRC1979 on March 14, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    This talk of Topley (agreed he is a prospect) overlooks that his team mate at Essex, Tymal Mills, is the better prospect. Left arm, 90+mph. If either are going to come through to international level in the next 2 years, I would bet on Mills.

  • 2.14istherunrate on March 14, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    Fast bowlers appear quickly and some Just as quickly disappear. A year or so back one would have said England were seamer rich.So what has changed?Onions' injury is just one case., and it is a serious matter. Tremlett is another case of injury,and his return would be a huge boost as comparisons to Ambrose and McGrath would seem to suggest. Woakes has been on the radar for a while and he can bat,but is he Test quality? Geoffrey is probably a bit hard on Meaker as he needs time to add experience to his pace. In the case of Brooks a new county can be revelatory. Similarly Harris on the quicker pitches away from Wales.There are others touted or even appearing in Lions' games such as Coles,Overtons to name a couple. It took one TV appearance from Darren Gough for him to be instantly recognisable as the future-why not again. As for Sir Geoff I would set him this quest-find a Holding,nothing less, eligible to play for England. I dont care fron where. Just find him!!

  • HatsforBats on March 14, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    @Trickstar, England's quicks aren't exactly bullet proof are they? Tremlett, Bresnan, Broad? Anyway I don't think there is any looming black hole for England. I really like the look of Woakes, and isn't there yet another near 7-foot young one up & coming? As for the young Aus quicks I'm not too worried about the injuries. They're big kids (all 6'4+) and still growing, I don't expect them to be completely ready for another 4-5 years, though Starc has been impressively durable so far and looks very special.

  • on March 14, 2013, 11:26 GMT

    I remember in the summer of 2003 people saying England had no upcoming seamers beyond Gough & Caddick - that was when Martin Bicknell got recalled vs SA in his mid-thirties! A couple of years later we had Harmison, Hoggard, Jones & Flintoff destroying the 'unbeatable' Aussies, while Anderson couldn't get a game!!

  • EdGreen on March 14, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    As Trickster writes - Tremlett is back fit, though as yet not match proven, and - if you look at the tests he played while fully fit is a heck of a handful, and well if you think Stuart Meaker is a one day bowler think again and with 98 wickets in the last two seasons at under 23.5 he's a prospect ever closer to maturity.

    Friends at other counties all report exciting prospects - yes we could use an ever-green machine or two ready to walk into the side, but this summer could well see a succession emerge.

    The ECB's key aim must be the same as that of the other nations - keeping their quicks fit - Broad, Finn and Tremlett in particular need to be managed very carefully by their counties and their country.

  • yorkshire-86 on March 14, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Shazad and Tremlett? These 2, plus Bresnan too, should be above Onions in the pecking order.

  • Stevros3 on March 14, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    I think Woakes has the potential to be a Hoggard type bowler, watch him in the County Championship and he seems much more potent than bowling in limited overs. He also consistently swings the ball (especially the new ball). I know modern bowlers tend to have raw pace, but I'd like to see Woakes given Test match at some point over the next 18 months, as his long term future is in the longer form of the game. His batting also could potentially be a no. 6 (though I see him as the long term no. 7 replacement for Prior)

  • jonesy2 on March 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    haha england have no bowlers fullstop. broad isnt up to county cricket let alone international, same goes for bresnan, finn and anderson are just plain poor and inconsistent and the most worrying thing for england is none are anything more than medium pace maybe a bit over medium pace.

  • on March 14, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    I can think of about five seamers that should get a punt for England. Roland-jones being one, Harris, Shazad, Topley, Tremlett. I'm more worried about the spinning once the injury prone Swann retires. Australia were forced into blooding so many bowlers, and they look reasonable. England need to get two or three new seamers bowling. No shortage of talent. Geoff spends too long in Jersey or South Africa and seems out of touch.

  • Munkeymomo on March 14, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Reece Topley is one exciting young pacer. Fast left armer! They can be deadly!

    Craig Overton is another one, could be a future number 6 for England. He was one of the only players to put in performances in Australia for the lions. I've heard Chappers rating him highly, but then I also heard him rating Max Waller as a potential test spinner... maybe for Australia mate.

  • Foddy on March 14, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    I was just about to mention Chris Tremlett, when I saw that Trickstar had done the same. Tremlett has the very creditable figures of 49 Test wickets at 26.75, including 8 wickets in his first Ashes test. He is definitely quick, bowls from a good height and can be a real handful. Put him together with Anderson, Finn and Broad, backed up by Bresnan and Onions, and that's not a bad package.

  • SamRoy on March 14, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Many readers here and many English selectors overrate Tim Bresnan. Most times he looked good were against incompetent batting lineups. When he bowled against a quality lineup like SA at home or a challenging one in India he looked a better fill in bowler than Jonathan Trott. Opposition's incompetence might make you look better but that doesn't mean you are that good. I don't watch county cricket so I can't comment. But Woakes won't work in the sub-continent as both India and SL have good young batsman coming up the ranks and he doesn't have enough speed or penetration or ability to tie one end up.

  • mikey76 on March 14, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    The problem we have is that we just don't know how good our crop of young quicks are. Flower needs to blood a couple at least before the ashes so we have an idea of what our options are. The home series against NZ would be the perfect opportunity for this. I think Boycs was being a bit harsh, particularly on Bresnan who before his injury looked a pretty good player.

  • Trickstar on March 14, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Does Boycott watch much County Cricket because from what he says here it doesn't seem so at all. Why might we be in trouble after the Ashes in Oz,all our bowlers are still young, Jimmy's only 30. Just to show how little he knows is when he says Meaker's maybe a one day player, seriously Geoffrey? he isn't a one day bowler and often doesn't get picked for Surrey, he's a good first class bowler who averages 27. He's also forgot to mention one of the key guys who should hopefully be back this summer in Tremlett, as well as the likes of Roland Jones, Topley, Woakes, Harris, & Shahzad. Then you add that lot to Anderson, Finn Broad, Bresnan & Onions, how many bowlers do you need, we're not the Aussies for crying out load. The difference between Oz and us is that they've had load of injuries, so they've had to try all thee guys out of Shield cricket, if we had a similar problem I'd back our County bowler to do the same especially in England. All these guys will be still playing after the Ashe

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 14, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Boycotts talking about the quicks, not about the batting, but both are oozing with talent. What a comparison to Australia, where they have no spinner, England have the best two in the world, and no batting. England have the likes of Jos buttler and Hales in the wings. Awesome.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on March 14, 2013, 4:44 GMT

    Boycotts talking about the quicks, not about the batting, but both are oozing with talent. What a comparison to Australia, where they have no spinner, England have the best two in the world, and no batting. England have the likes of Jos buttler and Hales in the wings. Awesome.

  • Trickstar on March 14, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Does Boycott watch much County Cricket because from what he says here it doesn't seem so at all. Why might we be in trouble after the Ashes in Oz,all our bowlers are still young, Jimmy's only 30. Just to show how little he knows is when he says Meaker's maybe a one day player, seriously Geoffrey? he isn't a one day bowler and often doesn't get picked for Surrey, he's a good first class bowler who averages 27. He's also forgot to mention one of the key guys who should hopefully be back this summer in Tremlett, as well as the likes of Roland Jones, Topley, Woakes, Harris, & Shahzad. Then you add that lot to Anderson, Finn Broad, Bresnan & Onions, how many bowlers do you need, we're not the Aussies for crying out load. The difference between Oz and us is that they've had load of injuries, so they've had to try all thee guys out of Shield cricket, if we had a similar problem I'd back our County bowler to do the same especially in England. All these guys will be still playing after the Ashe

  • mikey76 on March 14, 2013, 6:58 GMT

    The problem we have is that we just don't know how good our crop of young quicks are. Flower needs to blood a couple at least before the ashes so we have an idea of what our options are. The home series against NZ would be the perfect opportunity for this. I think Boycs was being a bit harsh, particularly on Bresnan who before his injury looked a pretty good player.

  • SamRoy on March 14, 2013, 7:58 GMT

    Many readers here and many English selectors overrate Tim Bresnan. Most times he looked good were against incompetent batting lineups. When he bowled against a quality lineup like SA at home or a challenging one in India he looked a better fill in bowler than Jonathan Trott. Opposition's incompetence might make you look better but that doesn't mean you are that good. I don't watch county cricket so I can't comment. But Woakes won't work in the sub-continent as both India and SL have good young batsman coming up the ranks and he doesn't have enough speed or penetration or ability to tie one end up.

  • Foddy on March 14, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    I was just about to mention Chris Tremlett, when I saw that Trickstar had done the same. Tremlett has the very creditable figures of 49 Test wickets at 26.75, including 8 wickets in his first Ashes test. He is definitely quick, bowls from a good height and can be a real handful. Put him together with Anderson, Finn and Broad, backed up by Bresnan and Onions, and that's not a bad package.

  • Munkeymomo on March 14, 2013, 8:59 GMT

    Reece Topley is one exciting young pacer. Fast left armer! They can be deadly!

    Craig Overton is another one, could be a future number 6 for England. He was one of the only players to put in performances in Australia for the lions. I've heard Chappers rating him highly, but then I also heard him rating Max Waller as a potential test spinner... maybe for Australia mate.

  • on March 14, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    I can think of about five seamers that should get a punt for England. Roland-jones being one, Harris, Shazad, Topley, Tremlett. I'm more worried about the spinning once the injury prone Swann retires. Australia were forced into blooding so many bowlers, and they look reasonable. England need to get two or three new seamers bowling. No shortage of talent. Geoff spends too long in Jersey or South Africa and seems out of touch.

  • jonesy2 on March 14, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    haha england have no bowlers fullstop. broad isnt up to county cricket let alone international, same goes for bresnan, finn and anderson are just plain poor and inconsistent and the most worrying thing for england is none are anything more than medium pace maybe a bit over medium pace.

  • Stevros3 on March 14, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    I think Woakes has the potential to be a Hoggard type bowler, watch him in the County Championship and he seems much more potent than bowling in limited overs. He also consistently swings the ball (especially the new ball). I know modern bowlers tend to have raw pace, but I'd like to see Woakes given Test match at some point over the next 18 months, as his long term future is in the longer form of the game. His batting also could potentially be a no. 6 (though I see him as the long term no. 7 replacement for Prior)

  • yorkshire-86 on March 14, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    Shazad and Tremlett? These 2, plus Bresnan too, should be above Onions in the pecking order.