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'Confident' Ball fit for Gabba Ashes bow

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'For a split second I thought my Ashes were over' - Ball (1:34)

England bowler Jake Ball talks about his recovery from a sprained his ankle and hoping to make an impact in the Ashes (1:34)

Most players on the verge of their first Ashes Test might be hoping to emulate their heroes, but Jake Ball is hoping for the opposite. In one respect, anyway.

Ball grew-up idolising Steve Harmison. Inspired by Harmison's pace and hostility in the 2005 Ashes, Ball would take to the garden with his brother and "try to bounce him out".

But while he will not want to replicate Harmison's infamous first delivery at the Gabba at start of the 2006-07 Ashes - the ball that went to second slip, a harbinger of doom for a grim series from an England perspective - he is still hoping to emulate the Harmison of 2005. And that means looking to bounce out the Australian batsmen.

"I hope I can bounce a few of the Aussies out," Ball said as he visited the Gabba for the first time on Monday. I have the height and bounce.

"I showed in the first couple of games on the tour that I can extract extra bounce and the Gabba is renowned for being a bouncy pitch. Hopefully I can show that and nick a few of the Aussies off.

"I'm in a really good position at the minute. I think we're going to hit the ground running and I hope to surprise a few people. I think we've a really good chance."

Ball has emerged as a near certainty to play in the first Test over the last few days, which may surprise a few. He has a Test bowling average of 114, after all - he has only played three Tests and two of them were in India - and he has been limited to just 22 first-class deliveries on tour to date after spraining his ankle in Adelaide.

But the spells he did bowl clearly made a strong impression. Trevor Bayliss rated Ball as the side's "best bowler" in the warm-up match in Perth, while Jonny Bairstow reckoned he was the quickest of England's seamers. At every state, the management have said they wanted him to play in Brisbane where his height and ability to hit the seam could be an asset.

"I'm really confident in what I'm doing," Ball said. "I've played club cricket in Australia. I've always had in the back of my mind that these pitches can really suit my style of bowling and bowling in Perth and Adelaide reinforced that."

He admits, however, that there was a moment when he feared for his Ashes prospects in the immediate aftermath of sustaining the injury.

"There was a split-second where I felt something wasn't quite right," he said. "I had my eyes closed and I was thinking 'Does it hurt?' All sorts of thoughts go through your head.

"It was a bit gutting, especially with bowling so well in the first couple of games.

"But the medical staff have been amazing. The last couple of days in Townsville went really well and I got through 17 overs at full pace and a couple of sessions of fielding. I'm now 100% confident that I can get through a five-day Test. I'm in a really good position.

"You dream about playing in the Ashes. To be here and have a chance of playing is amazing and if I do get the nod, I'll go out there and give 100%.

"We're not intimidated. All the batters have dealt with 90mph pace before and they will deal with it again. They can talk it up, talk about their pace, but it's nothing that we haven't faced before. We'll look to put the pressure back on them."