The Ashes 2013-14 December 23, 2013

Australia's attack 'best in the world' - McDermott

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Craig McDermott reckons Australia's attack is the best in the world and Peter Siddle believes it is the strongest he has played in, but the tour of South Africa in February looms as their ultimate test. Against South Africa, Australia will not only have to bowl to the world's top two Test batsmen on the ICC rankings, AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla, they will also be judged against Vernon Philander and Dale Steyn, the No.1- and No.2-ranked bowlers.

Siddle, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon have delivered the Ashes after being supported by Australia's batsmen, which did not happen in England this year; the addition of Johnson to the side was also a major factor. The success was set up by outstanding bowling in the first three innings in Brisbane and Adelaide, where Australia prevented England reaching 200, and they have not conceded 400 in any of England's 16 Ashes innings this year.

Tackling the No.1 Test team in the world at home will be a wholly different challenge and, while nobody questions the dangers posed by Steyn and Philander, it is Australia's depth that McDermott believes gives his attack the edge. Morne Morkel is ranked No.11 in the world and Jacques Kallis comes in at No.29, but South Africa's spinner Imran Tahir does not offer the kind of control that Lyon does, and is ranked No.55.

Harris and Siddle are currently Nos. 5 and 6, Johnson No.15, Lyon No. 21 and Shane Watson No.38, but the Australians also have James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins and Ben Hilfenhaus all returning from injuries. South Africa's depth has hardly needed testing in the past few years, so fit and consistent have been Philander, Steyn and Morkel, but Kyle Abbott and Marchant de Lange are particularly promising backups.

"It's not just the bowling attack that's on the field, I think it's the backup we've got as well," McDermott, Australia's bowling coach, said in Melbourne on Monday. "That'll maybe be put to the test over the next couple of weeks. We'll see.

"I think we've got the best attack in the world. It's very well balanced, particularly with Nathan as our spinner - he's bowled well - and you've got Watto there as your fifth bowler. He's pretty handy as a fifth bowler. Nathan's done an unbelievable job for us this year. He's taken some very crucial wickets and very crucial times, particularly Alastair Cook twice with those cut shots where he's got a little bit of extra bounce."

Should any of Australia's fast bowlers struggle for fitness ahead of the Boxing Day Test, the selectors would look to Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile as the two standby fast men in the squad. Bird has made his return through the BBL, Pattinson and Hilfenhaus are expected to do the same, while Starc and Cummins have longer to wait until they regain full fitness.

One of the most pleasing aspects of Australia's attack this summer has been the ability of Harris, Siddle and Johnson to remain fit and in form for three consecutive Tests, with the strong possibility of a fourth being added to the list. Siddle, who will reach the milestone of 50 Test appearances on Boxing Day, said it was the strongest Test bowling attack during his time in the baggy green.

"We're in a good place at the moment," Siddle said. "We've been striving as a bowling unit for a long time to get that consistency right and to be able to complete innings together. That's what we've worked towards and this series has shown that. We've been able to bowl teams out quite quickly, give our batters a big chance and be able to put a lot of pressure on the opposition.

"Everyone from Mitchell to myself and Rhino and Lyno, we're all performing well and playing our role. We've always been about partnerships with bat or ball and I think with the ball at the moment this is probably the best line-up I've played in, where we've been able to stick it together and get everything right and win Test matches. At the moment this is definitely the best line-up that I've ever played in."

Asked if the Australians could lay claim to being the best attack in world cricket at the moment, Siddle stopped short of echoing McDermott's words.

"We're up there, aren't we?" he said. "We're winning Test matches, we're bowling teams out, but it's on the back of the batters. The batters have set a record of 500 for three consecutive Tests in a row for the opposition to chase. It does make it a lot easier for the bowling unit. The combination at the moment with batters and bowlers, we're just playing good positive cricket and being consistent at it."

That consistency in the field has helped restrict England's run-scoring opportunities, which in turn has frustrated their batsmen and contributed to wickets falling. At this stage, the collective economy rate of Australia's bowlers in this series is 2.83, their lowest in any Ashes series since 1994-95. Notably, that was McDermott's last Ashes series as a player.

"It's a known fact that you build enough maidens on an opposition, especially back to back to back, and you generate wickets," Siddle said.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Happy_AusBang on December 26, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    A few performances on their home turf against a brittle English team and they suddenly become the best bowlers. Recall these same bowlers suffered badly against India not that long ago. They got beaten by South Africa as well two of whose bowlers are ranked number 1 and 2. And they haven't played Pakistan for a while have much idea what the Pakistan attack is like. Aussie cricket is being carried away with some good performances at home. An overseas tour may provide a good reality check.

  • Greatest_Game on December 25, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Does anyone know exactly who the Aus attack are? They seem to pick a dozen or more bowlers a year. I think if you have a cricket ball, a run-up & a heartbeat you are automatically included in the Aus attack. Agar, Ahmed, Beer, Bird, Cummins, Coulter-Nile, Doherty, Faulkner, Harris, Hastings, Hazlewood, Henriques, Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Lyon, Maxwell, McKay, Pattinson, Siddle, Smith, Starc, Watson, and a few others I'm sure I've missed, all are/have been/may be/who knows part of Australia's "bowling attack."

    That is 22 players. Starc & Pattinson are veterans with 12 tests each! Harris an old timer with 19! Even the unfortunate Rob Quiney bowled his 25 overs, conceding just 29 runs. He also scored 9 runs, so that makes him an all-rounder in Aus, I guess?

    Did McDermott slip up? Maybe he did not mean to say Australia have the best attack but really meant to say the BIGGEST bowling attack in the world? Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it? It also fits right in with the team's ego sizes!

  • on December 25, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    How is it depth of bowling when Oz have 8 or 9 guys out injured? Bad player management, conditioning, fitness etc

  • Greatest_Game on December 25, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha writes " I'm sorry to break it to some SA fans, but after seeing him in Australia, I can testify that (Philander's career record) is an absurdity."

    After reading hundreds of your posts, to believe anything to which you testify would be the greater absurdity. The single consistency of your posts here is the universal response by other posters: laughter & disbelief With all due respect, mate, you are simply not believable. The stats prove that.

    Look at the ICC rankings. Where are Siddle, Johnson, Harris? Way below Philander, whose bowling average OUTSIDE of SA is 21.83. This includes such seam friendly environments as the UAE, tracks prepared for SA in Aus, etc. Bowling averages of Aus' supposed "best attack in the world" are: Johnson 29.37. Siddle 26.68. Harris 22.45. Oops - Philander, OUTSIDE of SA, beats them all!! Again, as before, stats prove you WRONG, prove your opinions not believable.

    Aus' attack is NOT the world's best, unless you believe Santa is real too.

  • dalboy12 on December 25, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    the problem with this comment is that SA have an attack that is so rarely injured we haven't actually seen much of the backup bowlers in international cricket. We saw a bit of Del Lange here in NZ and he looked quick, and I gather Abbot is getting a lot of wickets. But the Aussies have a whole heap of bowlers with a few tests under their belts at the moment. Personally I think the attacks are close --- it will be of a matter of look out world if SA ever do find a good spinner. Also agree entirely with the home conditions comments already made - all bowling attacks bowl well within their home conditions. Look even us Kiwi's who have a pretty good attack have been able to slaughter WI over a few tests in our home conditions. Which is why I was very impressed with India in the first test in SA - their quicks really stood up especially in the first innings. World's best attack needs to be judged by who can perform away from home --- and sorry Aussies you have a way to go there.

  • Srini_Indian on December 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    'Best attack'? Give me a break! Take out Johnson's X factor, all you're left is mediocre Johnson, injury prone Harris, workhorse Siddle, Zooter Lyon. Hardly intimidating!

  • pitch_curator on December 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    @ Chris_P - That is exactly my point. To compare Johnson with Steyn you need to do lot of research like you did to come up with a series where Johnson was at his best and Steyn at his worst. Even in the series you mentioned, Steyn picked up 16 wickets compared to Johnson's 16. Simple fact of the matter is that Johnson was not even good enough to get into the squad in the Ashes in England this year. And now the aussies are trumpetting after 3 matches that he is deadly, excellent blah blah. First of all he needs to bowl decently a stretch of time to be even present in the squad on a consistent basis. Coming to depth, bowling quick is not the only criterion. Shaun Tait was also quick. We know what his stats are. Fitness and skill are the more important factors. How quick was Glenn Mcgrath? I really doubt if Cummins and Pattinson will be fit for any considerable amount of time. They havent played much and still they are always in the casualty ward. And what about spin? Lyon?? What a joke

  • Shaggy076 on December 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Zak; I reckon the South Africa attack is probably best but cmon Kallis betterthan Harris anD Siddle, Dumony betterthan Lyon. You're dreaming. I'd have all of the Aussie quicks before Morkel who is also a very good bowler. I remember that South African attack going for over 600 runs in two of the three tests played over here last summer. In the 4 games against South Africa where Australia had there best attack at home and away, it was 1 all so the South African attack can't be streets ahead.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 25, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    May or may not be best attack but Aus have what other teams dont have and would love to- M Johnson .By far the fastest and most intimidating in the world.Only Steyn come close. Harris/Siddle are class too and far superior to Philander,as good as Morkel.

  • jimbond on December 25, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    This is the same sort of arrogance that England had before this leg of the ashes.

  • Happy_AusBang on December 26, 2013, 1:03 GMT

    A few performances on their home turf against a brittle English team and they suddenly become the best bowlers. Recall these same bowlers suffered badly against India not that long ago. They got beaten by South Africa as well two of whose bowlers are ranked number 1 and 2. And they haven't played Pakistan for a while have much idea what the Pakistan attack is like. Aussie cricket is being carried away with some good performances at home. An overseas tour may provide a good reality check.

  • Greatest_Game on December 25, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    Does anyone know exactly who the Aus attack are? They seem to pick a dozen or more bowlers a year. I think if you have a cricket ball, a run-up & a heartbeat you are automatically included in the Aus attack. Agar, Ahmed, Beer, Bird, Cummins, Coulter-Nile, Doherty, Faulkner, Harris, Hastings, Hazlewood, Henriques, Hilfenhaus, Johnson, Lyon, Maxwell, McKay, Pattinson, Siddle, Smith, Starc, Watson, and a few others I'm sure I've missed, all are/have been/may be/who knows part of Australia's "bowling attack."

    That is 22 players. Starc & Pattinson are veterans with 12 tests each! Harris an old timer with 19! Even the unfortunate Rob Quiney bowled his 25 overs, conceding just 29 runs. He also scored 9 runs, so that makes him an all-rounder in Aus, I guess?

    Did McDermott slip up? Maybe he did not mean to say Australia have the best attack but really meant to say the BIGGEST bowling attack in the world? Now THAT makes sense, doesn't it? It also fits right in with the team's ego sizes!

  • on December 25, 2013, 21:03 GMT

    How is it depth of bowling when Oz have 8 or 9 guys out injured? Bad player management, conditioning, fitness etc

  • Greatest_Game on December 25, 2013, 20:02 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha writes " I'm sorry to break it to some SA fans, but after seeing him in Australia, I can testify that (Philander's career record) is an absurdity."

    After reading hundreds of your posts, to believe anything to which you testify would be the greater absurdity. The single consistency of your posts here is the universal response by other posters: laughter & disbelief With all due respect, mate, you are simply not believable. The stats prove that.

    Look at the ICC rankings. Where are Siddle, Johnson, Harris? Way below Philander, whose bowling average OUTSIDE of SA is 21.83. This includes such seam friendly environments as the UAE, tracks prepared for SA in Aus, etc. Bowling averages of Aus' supposed "best attack in the world" are: Johnson 29.37. Siddle 26.68. Harris 22.45. Oops - Philander, OUTSIDE of SA, beats them all!! Again, as before, stats prove you WRONG, prove your opinions not believable.

    Aus' attack is NOT the world's best, unless you believe Santa is real too.

  • dalboy12 on December 25, 2013, 10:23 GMT

    the problem with this comment is that SA have an attack that is so rarely injured we haven't actually seen much of the backup bowlers in international cricket. We saw a bit of Del Lange here in NZ and he looked quick, and I gather Abbot is getting a lot of wickets. But the Aussies have a whole heap of bowlers with a few tests under their belts at the moment. Personally I think the attacks are close --- it will be of a matter of look out world if SA ever do find a good spinner. Also agree entirely with the home conditions comments already made - all bowling attacks bowl well within their home conditions. Look even us Kiwi's who have a pretty good attack have been able to slaughter WI over a few tests in our home conditions. Which is why I was very impressed with India in the first test in SA - their quicks really stood up especially in the first innings. World's best attack needs to be judged by who can perform away from home --- and sorry Aussies you have a way to go there.

  • Srini_Indian on December 25, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    'Best attack'? Give me a break! Take out Johnson's X factor, all you're left is mediocre Johnson, injury prone Harris, workhorse Siddle, Zooter Lyon. Hardly intimidating!

  • pitch_curator on December 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    @ Chris_P - That is exactly my point. To compare Johnson with Steyn you need to do lot of research like you did to come up with a series where Johnson was at his best and Steyn at his worst. Even in the series you mentioned, Steyn picked up 16 wickets compared to Johnson's 16. Simple fact of the matter is that Johnson was not even good enough to get into the squad in the Ashes in England this year. And now the aussies are trumpetting after 3 matches that he is deadly, excellent blah blah. First of all he needs to bowl decently a stretch of time to be even present in the squad on a consistent basis. Coming to depth, bowling quick is not the only criterion. Shaun Tait was also quick. We know what his stats are. Fitness and skill are the more important factors. How quick was Glenn Mcgrath? I really doubt if Cummins and Pattinson will be fit for any considerable amount of time. They havent played much and still they are always in the casualty ward. And what about spin? Lyon?? What a joke

  • Shaggy076 on December 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Zak; I reckon the South Africa attack is probably best but cmon Kallis betterthan Harris anD Siddle, Dumony betterthan Lyon. You're dreaming. I'd have all of the Aussie quicks before Morkel who is also a very good bowler. I remember that South African attack going for over 600 runs in two of the three tests played over here last summer. In the 4 games against South Africa where Australia had there best attack at home and away, it was 1 all so the South African attack can't be streets ahead.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on December 25, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    May or may not be best attack but Aus have what other teams dont have and would love to- M Johnson .By far the fastest and most intimidating in the world.Only Steyn come close. Harris/Siddle are class too and far superior to Philander,as good as Morkel.

  • jimbond on December 25, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    This is the same sort of arrogance that England had before this leg of the ashes.

  • Zak- on December 25, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    JP Duminy is a better spinner than Lyon. In terms of depth I think SA edge the Aussies too, with Abbott, de Lange, Tstotsobe, Parnell, Theron, Viljoen, Gqamane, Hendricks, McLaren all waiting in the wings. Kallis is probably a better bowler than all 1st choice Aussies bar Johnson when it's his day. Steyn, Philander and Morkel are leagues ahead of the current Aussie bowlers. I'd prefer SA to use Duminy and Faf as theiur spin options and choose 2 allrounders & 3 frontline seamers, Kallis & McLaren as the allrounders, and Steyn, Philander and Morkel as the 3 seamers. The other change I'd like to see is de Kock coming in for Alviro Petersen. That would be a formidable lineup.

  • on December 25, 2013, 7:21 GMT

    @ Kirsten Van Jaarsveld. As an Aussie - very well said!

  • Rohit... on December 25, 2013, 7:19 GMT

    Johnson is the key.... If he fails then this world's best attack will be as inconsistent as the Kiwi's attack... Steun-Morkel-Philander is still the best and they are not concentrated on just a single player's contribution to make an impact.

  • on December 25, 2013, 4:45 GMT

    Aussies always had a regulation spinner other than Warne. So a bowler like Nathan Lyon who has no mystery ball - doosra, carom ball etc always can spin well same as Swann. Before Warne Aussies had only about three or four good spinners - MacGill, Ashley Mallet, Benuad and Grimett. Guys like Yardley, Jim Higgs, Tom Hogan, Tim May were in and out of the side. So nothing to worry just because you do not have world class spinners in the Aussie side. Remember Allan Border took 7 wickets in Sydney.

  • rajuramki on December 25, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    No doubt the present Australian attack is good . But how good they are in the subcontinent and outside Australia remains a question mark . South Africa has a very good attack but they lack quality spinners . On the whole, the Pakistani attack is the strongest at the moment with a good mixture of pace and spin bowlers but many of them do not have the experience . Considering all this, I would rate Sputh Africa to have the best set of bowlers for all conditions.

  • Blal on December 25, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    As they say in hindi movies 'world famous in entire Mumbai' in the same way Australians have best attack in the world in Australia only. Outside it we all saw what happened to the same 'world's best attack'. Anyone care to remember Australia's tour of India (lost 0-4) and England (lost 0-3) in 2013. So it would be fair to say that Australia's attack is best in the world only in Australia.

  • on December 25, 2013, 3:17 GMT

    cricket is a Funny Game all this can spin a dime :)

  • RodStark on December 25, 2013, 2:08 GMT

    Australia kind of lucked into having a great bowling attack in this series. Had it not been for the injuries, one or more of the younger and mostly untested bowlers would likely have played in Johnson's place. As it is, they have a group of three older hungry fast bowlers with a lot to prove. I'm not completely convinced that the depth is all that wonderful.

  • on December 24, 2013, 21:57 GMT

    wow really , lol better that styen philander and mokerl ?

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:43 GMT

    Lets wait till they get to SA. We've seen sheepish performances from home grown Lions in International cricket too often to agree to this statement.

  • InsideHedge on December 24, 2013, 19:04 GMT

    Once that lad Cummins is fit, it most certainly will be the best in the world! He can bat too like Pattinson who will also add to the squad. Starc was a big disappointment against SA. Jackson Bird is pedestrian and will never make the team again unless these guys all break down, even Doug Bollinger is ahead of him, heck Dirk Nannes would be a better shout.

    The Hilf needs to be put to pasture, he looks set to make some good money thru T20 leagues, best of luck to him. I don't see anything coming up in the spin department, the selectors really need to dig deep in this area. Nathan Lyon has proven to be one helluva smart bowler, far better than anyone expected. The selectors deserve credit for sticking with him.

  • on December 24, 2013, 19:02 GMT

    lol, Ozzers and their mind games. That said, I do believe they might become the best bowling attack in the future - might - Australia is fantastically competitive and a country replete with talent so they're a side to watch out for (and I'm saying that as a South African.) As for Pakistan, now Pakistan's bowling attack is FIERCE, when they're on form. They might very well have the world's best bowling attack on form. The reason however, that SA's attack remains number one is that they've consistently done well for years. If Oz and Pak manage to do the same they certainly might lay claim to that title too. I'm not saying Pak and Oz can't beat South Africa, of course they could and they have, cricket is unpredictable and interesting that way, and certainly sometimes the Ozzers and Pakistani's outperform the Saffers, but they need to outperform the world's cricket line-ups consistently, for a long period of time. Then they can talk. :)

  • AKS286 on December 24, 2013, 17:05 GMT

    Steyn, Morkel & Phillander, Southee, Boult, one missing, is the second best combination. My question to Mr. MacDermott What Oz bowling has done ? Lyon who is having crores of jokes as a spinner and he is not capable to bowl maidens in test cricket. Don't forget that before Lehmann Johnson was the replacement bowler specially of Starc and Haddin for Matthew Waste.

  • on December 24, 2013, 15:57 GMT

    have they got any worldclass spinner?

  • Kapeel on December 24, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    Best team in current form: 1. Amla 2. Warner/Pujara 3. Clarke 4. De-Villers 5. Chanderpaul 6. Kohli / Taylor 7. Ashwin 8. Philander 9. Johnson 10. Steyn 11. Ajmal Stability in form of Amla Chanderpaul Taylor, agression in form of Warner Clarke and de-villers, Batting till number 9. 3 best pace bowlers at the moment, 1 spin master and one brilliant spinning allrounder who can score centuries as well.

  • CRIC_FAN94 on December 24, 2013, 15:42 GMT

    What did they do in Indian pitches?You got to take wickets on all pitches to be considered best and please don't blame pitches

  • Biggus on December 24, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    A lot of simple minded comments going on here. Craig McDermott is NOT a commentator, he's a coach, and he's under no obligation whatsoever to be balanced or unbiased in his assessments. He may well feel that our attack is the best in the world, he may just be saying that to wind up a few people, who can say. In short, McDermott can say anything he likes about the quality of the Aussie attack and he's under no obligation to please anybody, least of all the people commenting here, most of whom support teams that could only dream of having a fast bowler with an average under 30 anyway.

  • drnaveed on December 24, 2013, 14:09 GMT

    "Australia's attack 'best in the world' - McDermott " is a bold statement made by McDermottit. on the basis of just those three test matches , "in which his side has performed well", he thinks that he is in a position to give such a kind of statement. is his bowlers have the capability to get wickets on flat pitches , which do not assist the fast bowlers at all .?, i think SA and PAK bowlers are far better than the AUS bowlers, they are capable of getting wickets on any kind of pitches, whether it is giving assistance or not. As far as Peter Siddle , who believes that " it is the strongest he has played in", he can say so , but again , he should keep in mind that they are at present playing on the AUS pitches ,and that they have yet to face the top batting sides in the world at present i.e. SA and IND.

  • on December 24, 2013, 13:49 GMT

    too early to say all this... u never declare on the basis of just 2 or 3 matches and all against the same opponent that ur bowling attack is best in the world. so far Pakistan and South Africa has proven that they are best in the business uptill now and Australia has to go a long way to claim this.such kind of claims can put pressure on young Australian bowlers who already suffering from various injuries.

  • SeekingAlpha on December 24, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Aus are just coming up from a trough. They have won just 3 matches after coming from a particularly bad year and a half. Give them some time before labeling them the best. You don't become the best just by winning 3 matches.

  • MianMoosa on December 24, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    On the basis of one good series u can,t say that Aussies attack is best in the world, IN pace department Proteas are still best in world, Australia comes in 2nd, but look at their spinners (in fact they have only 1 spinner) he is no way near to quality spinner, this attach has still to be judge in Spin friendly conditions, like india, UAE etc. In earlier series against india there spinners got hammered all over the park, Mitchell johnson, well i am still very interested how he plays in South africa, he still has not got back that swing, its all just Pace, which proteas plays very well,

  • Cricket_Man on December 24, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    I think to become the best bowling attack a bowling side needs to be consistent for at least a period of one year and should have depth and variety in their bowling. Although South Africa doesn't have the variety required (average spinners), their fast bowlers are just top class. They have performed well in different conditions over a long period so they deserve the number 1 title. Pakistani fast bowlers are very good and their spinners are exceptional. Pakistani bowling has the variety and has performed well in different conditions so they stand number 2. The English bowlers would have been number 3 but with the retirement of Swann and ineffectiveness of Anderson and Finn their bowling attack lacks quality. Australian bowling attack has become lively again. They have only performed well in the Ashes so far but I think with time they can become the best if they keep on bowling the way they are.

  • sherishahmir on December 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT

    Seemed most of teams (except South Africa) r champions in their backyards, what happened to Australia when they got recent feast of white wash (4-0) from India with same bowlers and after again beaten in Ashes in England, its pretty early to give such innocent comments as they have to meet S Africa in their next assignment (Feb-2014). The main reason of current unexpected English team performance is mainly the poor form of their star batsman's KP, Cook, Prior, the departure of talented "Trott" AND also the poor display of their bowlers.

  • Manxmuppet on December 24, 2013, 11:02 GMT

    It's all very well saying that if Aus can beat SA in SA they can say they have the best attack in the world but I'd have thought you need to beat Ind in Ind, Pak in Pak, Eng in Eng (which this attack failed to do 3 months ago) AND SA in SA. Once that is achieved then, yes, we can say that Aus has the best attack in the world.

    Meanwhile, back in the real world...........

  • hhillbumper on December 24, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    they win 3 tests against a woefully underperforming England and they are the best attack in the world. If you break it down the spearheads are over 30.There have been two miracles to this attack.Ryan Harris has stayed fit and MJ has stayed accurate. What happens when they move on? Most of the younger talent is injured or ineffective.Not taking anything away to what they have done to England but lets be honest the hyperbole was rampant enough when Aus were losing now they win a few tests at home against the worst performing England team in decades and this is what happens

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:44 GMT

    Joke... can they perform in subcontinent ? can they perform in spin-friendly pitches? Pakistan has good pacer as well as spiner ... i think Pak has that quality describe by " Sir McDermott"

  • Haz95 on December 24, 2013, 10:31 GMT

    HAHA LOL...I'm reading here how Lyon would make it into the Test XI when you have Rangana Herath, Saeed Ajmal,Pragyan Ojha, Abdul Rehman and heck even Shane Shillingford who are all miles ahead of him...Even domestic kids like Raza Hasan are better than Lyon who is just a tailender bowler...All the nonsubcontinental teams are saying how their attacks are the best, HAHA! Not One even has a genuine spinner worth mentioning, Only England but not even sure about them since the departure of Swann.... South Africa DO have a very strong pace attack but they lack a spinner but they or Pakistan rightly can say they've the best bowling attack. Australia win 2 matches or so and are now the strongest attack, lol. Watch Johnsons form drop and then everyone will silence as Harris(who's also nearing his end) and Siddle can't handle all the workload. The spinners both saffers and aussies can boast about are both Pakistan...Fawad Ahmed and Imran Tahir...Lyon Pahaa

  • Micky.Panda on December 24, 2013, 10:30 GMT

    Have to agree with Little Aussie Battler. Right now everything looks rosy with Australian attack, but we are in favourable home conditions and playing against England's batsmen who to some extent refused to be tied down and were not used to Australian bounce and pace. We can bet that SA will defend far better and they will be used to their own pitches. The Australian batting line-up could well be over rated, but is certainly not as good as SA. Watto is no No. 3, Steve Smith has performed just occasionally, Rogers yet to find consistency, Bailey unproven. If Australia can outplay SA in SA or even perform about level in SA, we could say they are the best. It will be hard to evaluate our bowling fairly, as SA batting should be superior.

    It is evident Australia has good depth of fast bowlers, but maybe not in the batting department. In the right conditions Pattinson, Bird, and Hilfenhaus can all do very well. Faulkner and Henriques also very promising all rounders.

  • on December 24, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    lets face it this is the last dying spasm in this australian bowling attack. How long do you think Johnson is going to continue bowling this fast? He has maybe six to 12 months left in him before it all goes. Best attack in the world? Joke

  • Little_Aussie_Battler on December 24, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    South Africa is number one on all fronts and I am as one eyed Aussie as they can come.

    When we roll the Boks over in South Africa in Feb/March then come back and talk up how good this and that are.

  • on December 24, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    so- let me get this right. This attack is better than the South African attack? You beat a team that are notorious for quitting. Our attack did have Australia at 18 for 9 at one stage. When you bowl a test side out for that amount ill take notice. Till then pipe down skippy.

  • LancashireHotSpot on December 24, 2013, 8:21 GMT

    So they have one good series and suddenly they're proclaiming their attack the best in the world!!! Mitchell 'he bowls to the left, he bowls to the right' Johnson has played a handful of good innings in the past 3 years, Ryan Harris struggles to play a series without a rest, Peter Siddle is efficient and workmanlike at best whilst Nathan Lyon could hardly be regarded a top line spinner. And as for the likes of Cummins and Pattinson, they've been plagued by injuries and can't get on the pitch. The bottom line is that they've had a good series against an England side whose batting lineup have under performed. The real test for the 'best attack in the world' is going to be against South Africa, the no. 1 Test team in the world with the top ranked batsmen and top ranked bowlers. If they can do that they can make these proclamations.

  • inefekt on December 24, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    You can't base a statement like that on depth. South Africa have managed to keep their main three bowlers on the field for the majority of the year so lack of depth for them isn't a significant factor. Both Morne and Vernon have only missed one test each in 2013 while Steyn has played them all. When your attack is settled and injury free then depth becomes a moot point. So having established that, SAF are easily the best attack in the world. Tahir is the weak link obviously but it isn't as if Nathan Lyon is the second coming of Murali as an offspin bowler, he's useful but I wouldn't say he's leagues ahead of Tahir. Personally I'd have O'Keefe in the team. Anyway, when you have the top two ranked bowlers and another just outside the top ten then it's very hard to convince anyone they are not the best in the world. Oh and Kallis pretty much cancels out Watson, in fact you'd have many argue that Kallis is the better bowler.......he does have nearly 300 wickets!

  • Jeremiser on December 24, 2013, 7:03 GMT

    when Mickey Arthur said it earlier, he was ridiculed, now some of the guys are taking notice just because CmcD said so.

  • Mitty2 on December 24, 2013, 6:51 GMT

    @cpt.meanstar, actually Patto averaged 27 in India and had a very good series bowling at 150+km/h consistently - it was by far and away his most impressive test performance to date. Siddle averaged just over 30 and took a 6 for in I think in the third test. The only other pacers were Starc who's a spud and no where near in the top 5 best quicks in the country and resultantly failed and MJ who bowled much better than his figures suggest in his one test (got numerous edges that didn't carry - particularly off Vijay). Lyon took a 9 for last test and I'd go on to say that if we took in our current batting line up and went with a bowling line up of SOK, Lyon and maybe MJ and Harris the result would have been very different. Anyway, the point in being that it was only Starc of our current bowlers who failed - you'll never see maxwell and Doherty again.

    Anyway, SA's bowling isn't that good as seen in Aus and just vs India. Their lack of spinner makes them prone to conceding big scores/

  • supacricfan on December 24, 2013, 6:49 GMT

    agree with mcdermotts statement..aussie attack is the best in the world followed by SA. mitchell johnson has made a massive difference with their bowling attack and adding to that if you include stark and cummins,they have by far the best bowling line up..pakistan hasn't got a bowler where the opposition fears such as Steyn or johnson and they aren't consistent,losing away series consistently,even against zimbabwe they have lost a match but you have to blame on their batting line up though!

  • AlSmug on December 24, 2013, 6:35 GMT

    if Aussies continue to get bowlers back from injury well maybe they should pick a side like this for sth africa Warner Watson Clarke Smith Haddin Starc Pattison Johnson Cummins Harris or maybe not, would be great to see though

  • on December 24, 2013, 5:17 GMT

    pak bowling attack is best in the world at the moment ...

  • samincolumbia on December 24, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    @Syed - Bowling performances in T20/ODI does not equate to 'best attack' in the world. Pakistan lost to Zimbabwe in Test... and that was very recent too! Selective amnesia, but keep dreaming.

  • zenboomerang on December 24, 2013, 3:40 GMT

    Some silly comms below... The Oz bowling coach said "I think we have the best bowling squad atm", he also included Lyon & Watson in that statement + "including our backups"... What else would you expect from a national bowling coach?...

    We have Faulkner, Pattinson, Bird, Starc, Cummins, Hilfy, Dougie, NC-N as very useful backup pacemen, with spinner O'Keefe the leading Shield bowler this year along with a number of good prospects coming through in Agar, Ahmed, Rose, Zampa, Holland, Boyce, Maxwell.

  • on December 24, 2013, 3:27 GMT

    I myself was born in Pakistan but Nathan Lyon is no way better than Saeed Ajmal. However i agree with fast bowling Australia has the best bowling in the world also backup bowler can replace Johnson, Harris and Siddle.

  • Cpt.Meanster on December 24, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    Best in the world ? I beg to disagree and here is why - INDIA ! Yes, this very same Aussie team was smashed 4-0 in India recently. Any fast bowler from overseas have to pass an acid test in India. So far ALL of them have failed considerably. Only Steyn has an overall decent record in India but he too is ordinary when there is zero swing and pace. Mitch Johnson is a better ODI bowler in India than in tests. Only Siddle has a decent overall record in India but still he hasn't done anything significant. So I don't think Australia have the best bowling attack by any means. Especially, after beating an average England team at home. Let them tour SA later next year and then play some tests in SL and India.

  • rienzied on December 24, 2013, 1:48 GMT

    Sadly the bowlers are old, Harris34, Johnson32 and Siddle pushing 30! And they said England has an aging attack??? Just keep winning and stop making bold claims

  • dunger.bob on December 24, 2013, 1:21 GMT

    Gee Billy, now why did you go and say something like that? It's ok to think that in private, but to splurt it out to the media isn't a great move in my opinion.

    Oh well, it's done now so let's hope the lads can maintain their form and not make you look like a goose.

  • wellrounded87 on December 24, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    It's an interesting proposition. SA would have the stronger fast bowling options but Australia have more depth, but Tahir really lets them down. Australia's advantage is definitely Lyon. He's a much more well rounded spinner than Tahir. Tahir can't tie down an end and struggles to get wickets on pitches that aren't conducive to spin.

    I still think Lyon isn't our best spinner and the ignorance of SOK (again amongst the leading wicket takers in shield) has really hurt Australia particularly in India. I think if we had a spinner who could win matches on 4th and 5th day pitches we could claim the worlds best attack. But i think the gap between Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Harris Siddle Johnson is bigger than the gap between Lyon and Tahir.

    The series will be interesting, i just wish it could be a 4 or 5 match series. Aus vs SA are always crackerjack test matches.

  • Haz95 on December 24, 2013, 0:51 GMT

    To be Honest, I really don't buy this. If anyone deserves to say this, its South Africa or Pakistan. South Africa, simply because of Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Abott..I'm sorry but Philander and Steyn simple destroy all the Aussies, the only comparable one being Harris. Pakistan is the most balanced attack, even tho Pakistans batting has been so dismal, they still beat Saffers in their own back yard, India in their own backyard and etc. Pak defo has the strongest spin line up, especially with the worlds best bowler(ajmal since he's formidable in every format in every type of pitch) and our Pace attack is also very strong with Irfan, Gul, Junaid and thousands of domestic talents too. Pak has never been respected by any non subcontinental team apart from South Africa which is why no1 considers them to be how they are. Especially Junaid Khan who destroyed India in the world most flattest pitches.But if any claimsthey're the best, it must be SA (but they still lack a genuine spinner)

  • Macker60 on December 24, 2013, 0:43 GMT

    It is always Puzzling Why People consistently Say SA wickets will be Alien to Australian Bowlers, Since SA return to International Cricket there wickets have been very similar to Australian Good Fast wickets that give something to Good Bowlers and sort out Average Bowlers. Australian Bowler have Always gone Well in SA, As for India They could be the Greatest time in History if they Just started Preparing Wickets the Same. And for My Last Comment You guys have comment largely on Australia losses on Prepared Wickets, But neglected Several other Countries Australia have Tour in the Last 3 Years and Performed Well as a Bowling unit.

  • Wefinishthis on December 24, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    As an Aussie, this is just McDermott already preparing for the next South Africa series by starting the mind games. We all know SA is deservedly no.1. SA has the two undisputed best bowlers in the world (Steyn and Philander) and then has Morkel who is also a very good bowler. Only Harris and Lyon would make this South African bowling attack. If Johnson had the kind of consistency he's shown this ashes series throughout his career, he'd be up there as well, but he's been far too expensive far too many times in the past. Australia has a better spinner and probably the 3rd best bowler in the world (Harris) after Philander and Steyn, so I would say they're the 2nd best bowling attack in the world, but still 2nd best to South Africa.

  • Electric_L0ser_Wacko on December 24, 2013, 0:16 GMT

    @ Syed Kashif Ali - LOL - Pak has the best bowling attack in all conditions?? How many times did they bowl out SA in SA in bowling conditions in TESTS ? don't bother yourself with an answer..

  • zn264 on December 23, 2013, 23:55 GMT

    I think Southee and Boult are the two best opening bowlers in the world at the moment, and the stats tend to back that up! They've done the damage in SA and England plus now at how against the Windies. They should rip the Indian's top order apart if we get a few green tops come Feb!

  • on December 23, 2013, 23:45 GMT

    rediculos...id take steyn, morkel and philander any day

  • kensohatter on December 23, 2013, 23:39 GMT

    Based on recent performances and depth you have to agree Australias attack is the best in the world but within a month that could change. Australias real advantage is its depth. SA have a stronger bowling unit but once one of Steyn, Morkel or Philander goes down they are exposed. The same can be said for England (who at the moment are out of form) but Australia have Current crop of Siddle, Harris, Johnson, Lyon and then a virtual second string bowling attack that could do similar damage... Pattison, Bird, Starc, Hilfenhaus plus they have cummins as a young prospect to develop. Sure depth in the spinning ranks is weak but aside from the subcontinent teams (who lack paceman) no team as numerous attacking spinners to call on. Based on current form the bowling unit id pick for a world XI would be Johnson, Broad, Steyn and Lyon... based on career you would have to go Anderson, Steyn, Swann (snuck him in), Philander

  • pommy80 on December 23, 2013, 23:18 GMT

    South Africa clearly have a better attack, and tbh, so do India. England gifted wickets to the Aussies this series to 'pad' the stats. Lyon only gets wickets because he bowls to tail enders. One good series and Australia suddenly have the 'best' attack......

  • on December 23, 2013, 23:14 GMT

    Interestingly enough, I thought the Australian bowling line-up outperformed South Africa's last time South Africa were in Australia. Philander was particularly disappointing. You'd have to say that Harris and Lyon would make it in. You'd give Steyn and Philander a run, but I'd always have Johnson waiting around. Somehow Steyn, Harris and Johnson just seems more intimidating than Steyn, Harris and Philander.

  • Shaggy076 on December 23, 2013, 23:11 GMT

    The Aussie attack is as good as the South African with its all-round balance. Yes Steyn is the best from both attacks but I think the Aussie attack overall is more relentless providing less scoring opportunities as Morkel and Tahir for South Africa can go for runs. Both attacks are brilliant and not sure which one U would prefer.

  • xylo on December 23, 2013, 22:01 GMT

    McD wanted to say "best in the world*" with the fineprint reading "in ideal home conditions". They don't have a thinking bowler, for starters. The bowlers need their coach and captain to do their thinking for them. Compare them with the likes of Warne/Anderson/Wasim/Zaheer/Vaas/Murali.

  • Chris_P on December 23, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    @pitch_curator. Do yourself a favour & look up the 2009 series when Johnson & Steyn went head to head for 3 matches & tell me Johnson doesn't measure up. Read the article, he is talking about DEPTH as well. In Cummins we have someone who is quicker than Johnson, Starc is similar to Johnson but nearly 10 years younger, Pattinson is only 23 & hitting 150kph, Bird, Hazelwood, MCM & Cutting are good enough to get into any yest team & Copeland is a proven performer in both England & the sub continent. I'll take the current depth & quality we have over any country thanks.

  • TheBigBoodha on December 23, 2013, 21:43 GMT

    Where Australia is better is in the brains' trust. The way SA go about their business can be quite brainless sometimes. We saw that in AUS last time, and we saw it vs India in the first test. It's like they don't really plan or think through tactics vs the opposition, believing they will just win automatically. Compare that to the way McDermott and Boof go about business. I'm afraid SA are in for a hard time when they come up against Australia, regardless of what anyone thinks here. Remember, it was just months ago that Trott, Swann, Cook and co were considered greats of the modern game, impregnable fortresses of technique and self-belief. Now they are wandering around, their former steadfast clan a chaotic rabble, babbling to themselves incoherently, their careers and self-belief in tatters.

  • Someguy on December 23, 2013, 21:39 GMT

    It will certainly be interesting to see how they compare against each other. I think Steyne is probably still the best. Haven't seen enough of Philander to know about him, but if Johnson can keep this kind of speed and accuracy up without falling back to his wayward ways, he will certainly be fighting for the top spot.

    On paper, the SA attack is better, with the exception of the spinner, but without knowing more about the second string bowlers for SA, I would have to say that Australia has a hell of a lot of depth in the fast bowlers. Not much in the spin department though.

    Also, you have to remember that Australia have some pretty good part time spinners in Clarke and Smith.

  • on December 23, 2013, 21:33 GMT

    Wow, and there is Australia's arrogance summed up in a single sentence. South Africa have the number one and two rated bowlers, and batsmen. Get your hand off it McDermott, Lyon is rubbish and is a fair groundsman at best, he's Australia's 40th spin option since Warne, this is a joke and the world is laughing at you Australia...

  • TheBigBoodha on December 23, 2013, 21:32 GMT

    Clearly on form Australia's is currently the best, so no dramas there. SA's attack was unimpressive for the most part vs India on much more helpful conditions than Australia had in, say, Adelaide. Of course in this world of child-like egos, many will have their sense of self-worth threatened by such an innocuous statement.

    The stats of the SA quicks have been inflated by their super-helpful wickets in recent years. To argue against this you have to beleive that Philander is the greatest fast-bowler of all time, and I'm sorry to break it to some SA fans, but after seeing him in Australia, I can testify that this is an absurdity. In fact all the SA quicks got belted in AUS on wickets that were precisely the same as what we have seen this year vs England. The SA quicks were only effective in the most helpful conditions in Perth. Everywhere else they were cannon-fodder.

  • WeirPicki on December 23, 2013, 21:28 GMT

    McDermott must be kidding, these guys were hopeless in India less than a year ago.

  • on December 23, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    I dont agree Australia has best attack in the world. The best bowling attack in the world is of Pakistan and South Africa. Pakistan have mohammad irfan ,Junaid khan and umer gul plus saeed ajmal, afridi and hafeez. Africa has killer steyn ,Philander , Morkel , Kalllis and Tsotebe

  • AlSmug on December 23, 2013, 20:34 GMT

    on form and in depth absolutely , if all our quicks are injury free it would be very hard picking a bowling line up , harris siddle johnson starc cummins pattinson bird Hazelwood Hilfenhaus geez England would dream of that type o depth, why on eart they left Onions at home pmslol was a great move by the selectors

  • philander50 on December 23, 2013, 20:26 GMT

    hahaha.......... really, I mean really.... the best in the world becuase they beat england at home. Don't get me wrong the aussies have some balance now that johnson has found some form but in no way shape or form is the australian bowling lineup the best in the world.

  • niazbhi on December 23, 2013, 17:45 GMT

    On his day Johnson can be better than Wasim Akram. On his day Patrick Patterson looked better than Marshall. Harris is a world class bowler. Siddle is a workhorse. Johnson can be the xfactor. Add the allround abilities of Watson and others, you have a great bowling line-up. McDermott is not far off from the truth. SA has world's best bolwers in Styen and Philander who get wickets in regular intervals. Harris and Johnson get the wickets in bursts. Specially Harris is so consistent. SA needs to bring Abbot or Ayabulela Gqamane or De lange once in a while in the same way Australia brought Pattinson and co. I would pick Styen, Philander and Harris are world's top three bowlers now.

  • BillyCC on December 23, 2013, 17:39 GMT

    I'd prefer South Africa's.

  • page8383 on December 23, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    I think a lot of people are forgetting that the Australian bowlers kept the English batsmen very much under control in England this year (except for Lords). It was the batting that killed the Aussies in England. That being said, I still think that the South African attack is better. The Aussies are getting that bullish confidence back again. They have always backed themselves and take great pride in their performances. It's this attitude that has lead to the total annihilation of England currently going on. The English thought that they would roll the Aussies easily and have been shown up to an embarrassing extent. I think Johnson is very much far from the real deal. It is a shame that Harris is 34 because he is bowling exceptionally well. Would be nice to get Cummins fit again, although this looks like a long term prospect. Should be a great series in SA. Australia have an excellent record there but are still far from a complete unit.

  • on December 23, 2013, 17:09 GMT

    Think a series win against a mediocre English performance is not enough to warrant such a claim. Best to let the results (over a longer period of time) do the talking Craig McDermott.

  • on December 23, 2013, 16:43 GMT

    I couldn't disagree with you more. Proteas have been showing they are a formidable test side for the past couple of years and apparently their bowling line-up, too. And to say they're second to a bowling attack which has just 3 matches to boast about isn't very logical.

  • screamingeagle on December 23, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    Usually these guys who start making big statements come tumbling down pretty fast. That is the fun part. One good series will not make this the best bowling attack.

  • AKS286 on December 23, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    A little squib sends Oz on the moon and they start day dreaming. Mr. MacDermott The African Deadly Barrage (Steyn, Morkel, Phillander, De Lange, Tsotsobe, Abbott) is World's Best attack anywhere, any pitch. Jimmy & Johnson are World class only. Since Johnson's debut I supported Johnson as a World Class in all format. He was dropped after horrible SA tour earlier but I supported him also and consider that tour as an exception case.

  • Tumi_tlhomz on December 23, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    Best attack in the world? Australia has a very good attack but none of your fast bowlers are better than either of steyn and philander. Ryan harris would come in as 3rd seamer in the proteas line up. While nathan lyon is a decent spinner he is no world beater but definitely better than any sa soinner right now. Those who point out the few times steyn has failed are silly as for any bowler incl all the greats have had mediocre tests. The difference is the greats don't have as many as others incl steyn. Saying steyn bowls within himself sometimes cannot be used as an excuse as he stoll has a strike rate of just over 40 and takes on average 5 wickets a match. If it was that significant he wouldn't have those numbers. He is devastating. I do admit Australia has more depth but best fast bowlers are better than your best and that's a fact. Comparing johnson and steyn is laughable.

  • on December 23, 2013, 15:50 GMT

    @DC75....kindly read my message , i was talking about their bowling as best attack in the world. Their batting is worst in the world , i agree . however recent performances against south arifca and then in srilanka has given some hope but still early days.

  • DC75 on December 23, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    @Syed Khasif Ali - Yes but they cannot bat either in any conditions

  • on December 23, 2013, 15:25 GMT

    @Captain_Tuk_Tuk yup mate i totally agree ..yesterday both dhoni and smith playing disgraceful cricket playing for a draw ...dhoni keeping all 9 fielders in the boundary and bowlers bowling at 7th stump line but kohli they kept attacking fields....i wonder he was dreaming ....you forgot to tell 1 match ...2012 barbados...clarke declared in 1st inngs when oz where 60 odd runs behind...cos wi batted slowly he took a huge risk for forcing a result(australia had to bat 4th on a turner)while chasing they were in similar sitution 20 runs remaing with tailenders at crease in fading light ,but they went for a win and suceeded ..th bottomline is he is ready to take the risk of losing for the case of win...thats how the game has to be played..you should always for a win unless its a impossible case

  • RJHB on December 23, 2013, 15:14 GMT

    Oh Meety, that's just plain bloody silly to say Steyn could be argued to be the best of all time! He rarely ever extends himself and seems to need a challenge to motivate him to bowl well. He was bowling rubbish until Perth last year, then was a match winner when SA had scrambled to keep the series alive the test before. The likes of Lillee, McGrath, Marshall, Ambrose and Akram NEVER left anything out on the pitch, they gave it everything, even when conditions didn't suit. Most of the bowlers around the world today go to water unless they get everything in their favour, just look at the likes of Ashwin, Anderson and Swann!

  • on December 23, 2013, 15:13 GMT

    And then he said Australia has the best bowling attack and we all laughed :)

  • BellCurve on December 23, 2013, 14:48 GMT

    Kallis now has 292 Test wickets, which is 1 more than McDermott. He also has a few more Test runs.

  • on December 23, 2013, 14:21 GMT

    all i can its a "BIG JOKE"... Pakistan has the best attack for all conditions as shown in in South Africa. They didn't allow so called top 2 batters in the world to score any substantial score. Australia was just thrashed in india with each innings score above 300. Plus Australia just has pace attacked , good for bouncy pitches. They cant swing the ball like english, pakistani and south african pace attack. While england and south africa do have good pace attack however they don't have world class variety , making them vulenrable in sub continent conditions. Pakistan is only side with good 140k plus pacers in the likes of Irfan, Junaid, Gul and soon the returning Moh Aamir for 2015 world cup, all of them can swing the ball at high pace plus pakistan has world class spinners like saeed ajmal, afridi, hafeez, rehman and haider. This attack is packed with variety of left and right arm in both pace and spin, thats why they can perform in any conditions unlike any other attack in the world.

  • pitch_curator on December 23, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Making Johnson a great bowler and comparing him with Steyn based on 2-3 performances at home is like saying that Ashwin is one of best spinners in the world and is as good as Ajmal based on one series in India. Any guy with a little bit of commonsense would rate a player based on performance in all conditions. So bad was Johnson in India that he played only one match and went wicketless. Even Ishant Sharma picked up 3 wickets in that match !!! Need I say more? As the saying goes, even a dog can become a lion in its street.

  • pitch_curator on December 23, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    @ Meety - Sour grapes. If you cant win, blame the pitch or the umpires or BCCI. Who are you to decide what kind of pitches you want to play on in another country? Did India complain about the pitches used for ODIs in SAF when it was blatantly clear that the pitches were doctored when compared to the pitches where Pakistan played hardly 15 days prior to that? And FYI the true nature of the pitches is like that. All you need to do is to check the scores in the domestic section of cricinfo and you will realize that spinners and top order batsmen play a huge role in winning cricket matches in India. If you bring run of the mill spinners like Lyon/Doherty and a top order which consists of pathetic players of spin like Hughes/Warner what do you expect? Instead of blaming pitches you need to ask the simple question of why your lower order scored more runs than your top order in India in the last series. You will get the answer there. You want Green park in Kanpur to bounce like WACA?? lol.

  • valvolux on December 23, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Easy for a coach to mark his own work! I still think South Africa has the best attack, purely because Australia cant field the same attack two series in a row such are the injuries! I think Australia has the most depth, in pace bowling anyway. Steyn / Philander/ Morkel is pretty lethal. Harris / Johnson / Siddle might be the most in form attack (based on 3 tests though), but Harris will break down, and Johnson has never had two good series in a row. However with awesome youngsters like Pattinson, Starc and Cummins (though how can we really rate a guy after one good match), the Aussie attack is in good hands. Lyon has improved a lot and certainly beats any south african. THe thing about South Africa though, is us Aussies tend to always play well against them for whatever reason...so perhaps they dont look that good. I mean Clarke is the only guy i've seen who absolutely dominates Philander...and even Phil Hughes likes himself a bit a Steyn. Will be a great series in March.

  • Chris_Howard on December 23, 2013, 13:42 GMT

    Best attack in the world? Nah, sorry. RSA with Steyn, Morkel and Philander is better.

    However, Australia looks to have the best depth. RSA fall away a bit after those three.

    If I was picking three seamers for a World XI, I'd pick Steyn, Philander and Ryan Harris. Those three will get you wickets on any pitch in the world. You can't say that of any other current Aussie bowler.

  • GloryDaysReturn on December 23, 2013, 13:40 GMT

    Greetings to all those Pakistanis who are currently sharing a 'Pakistan has the best-in-the-world bowling line-up' delusion. Pakistan: unpredictable? Yes. Enjoyable to watch? Always. Best bowling attack? Not since Waqar and Wasim, and even then, how many series did they win overseas?

    When was the last time Pakistan comprehensively won a Test series principally due to their bowling?

  • on December 23, 2013, 13:39 GMT

    Dear Atif mr. McDermott is right if u want proof wait for South Africa series u will get d exact result

  • BradmanBestEver on December 23, 2013, 13:32 GMT

    Best pace bowling attack perhaps - on a par with SA - but we do not have the best overall attack per se - mainly because Lyon is not up there with the best.

    Hence we suffer on the doctored pitches prepared in India

  • Meety on December 23, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    @Kaballas on (December 23, 2013, 12:28 GMT) "SA has 3 brilliant bowlers in Steyn, Philander and Morkel not only one like the Aussies." - I agree with the first half of what you have said, but totally disagree with the 2nd part. Yes SA has 3 brilliant bowlers, inc Steyn who COULD be argued to be the greatest pace bowler of all time. On the Ozzy side though, Anyone of about 6 pace bowlers has superior stats to Morkel. Then if we go to spinners, I would take Lyon over any trundler SA has produced since readmission!!!!!!!

    @ pitch_curator on (December 23, 2013, 12:40 GMT) - I would care more about winning in India if you didn't doctor pitches!

  • 1_234 on December 23, 2013, 13:13 GMT

    hahahah, england thought the same when they won in england.

  • on December 23, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    I wish people could go back and read the comments made after Australia lost the test series to India and England quite recently. Suddenly the same bowlers have become the best in the world where the same world have played them as just ordinary bowlers.

    Credit has to be given where due. Since the change of coach, Australia have transformed and are expected to do better, but boasting themselves as the worlds best is nothing short of ridiculous.

    Lets see how they fare now in alien conditions against SA batsmen who would pose a real challenge. If they perform well there, they have a point then.

  • Amit_4_Sachin on December 23, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    And that's exactly why they lost 4-0 in India.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Can understand Mr Mcdermott as he is really excited after winning the ashes series. Which I give them huge credit. But their attack is probably 4th best. As South African, English, and pakistan attack is much better than them. But they have the potential to be one of best as they have the best crop of young fast bowlers. So give them couple of years and they will prob be the best.

  • jonesy2 on December 23, 2013, 12:53 GMT

    that a given billy. has been for ages. south africas bowling doesn't compare to australias. I mean they don't even have a spinner for goodness sake. cant wait to the south Africa series though it will be a great one especially if the young gun aussie fast bowlers are all fit and firing. warner will love it on the south African pitches he could have one of the great series as a batsman.

  • nzcricket174 on December 23, 2013, 12:48 GMT

    Let's not forget South Africa too have depth in their fast bowling. Kyle Abbott is sitting on the sidelines still after blasting a 7 o r8-for (can't remember) on debut. Also, Marchant De Lange is still there too. If you can count Cummins and Pattinson you can count him as well. South Africa are just like Pakistan, they can sprout a fast bowler out of absolutely nowhere.

  • E.M.P. on December 23, 2013, 12:47 GMT

    @s-holmes irony is just another metal to you isn't it? Clearly the best bowling attack in world cricket is South Africa's, even with Tahir.

    By saying Pakistan have the "most potent and dangerous" bowling attack in the world, I'm guessing that you mean "Pakistan have Ajmal". Their pace bowling options are good, but not great. They would be greater if their best bowlers didn't take actions leading to them being banned from the game.

  • pitch_curator on December 23, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    rickyvoncanterbury - "Why should anyone care if Australia cannot win in India" - For the simple reason that if you are blowing trumpets declaring that you have the "Best" attack in the world, it should work in EVERY condition. Aussies were caned in India and all the Indian batsmen feasted on them. Siddle is about as effective as Abey Kuruvilla in India. Lyon will struggle to get into my company's corporate team - forget Indian team. Note that SAF had done considerably better against a more settled Indian middle order in India around 3 years back. "India cannot win anywhere but in India" - I have not seen Duncan Fletcher running around claiming that we have the best bowling or batting sides. It is not relevant to this topic at all. "SAF, AUS, NZ, PAK all have better bowling attacks than India" - opinion not based on any facts. In any case it is combination of batting and bowling that is required to win matches and as of now India is # 2 behind SAF in test matches

  • VivGilchrist on December 23, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    @ Leef, Why did you use Petersons average over the currently selected Tahir to prove your bias point?

  • Jesinthan on December 23, 2013, 12:35 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter LOL is that why Australia are ranked No.5 in tests and were routed 4-0 and 3-0 in overseas conditions? Dale Steyn and co have the right to call themselves the best attack in the world because they've performed in all conditions and their team has not lost overseas for over 7 years. Until Australia's attack can achieve that then your argument is invalid. Funny how David Saker said the same of the English bowling attack last year and look at what's happened to them now. Don't count your eggs until they've all hatched.

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    i think with gul back and irfan,junaid,ajmal pakistan line up is the best bowling line up because they have quality bowlers in both pace and spin department compared to south africa and australia because both teams do not have a quality bowler in spin departments

  • Kaballas on December 23, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    I cannot agree here.

    England had too much confidence and issues (like Trott) and a bad team environment (Swann leaving) ensured they lost to the Aussies.

    Don't get too carried away now Aussies. What happens if Johnsen gets injured? Then you average again. SA has 3 brilliant bowlers in Steyn, Philander and Morkel not only one like the Aussies.

    SA also have better batsment suited to these conditions....

    Aussies will win one series and now think they are the best again. Typical Aussie style.

    We shall see. First SA needs to try and win the Indian team in Durban to set up a Aussie series.

  • RamRishi on December 23, 2013, 12:27 GMT

    Australian bowling was struggling until the last series. Thanks to Johnson, they won the first and second test. If he struggles in the tests to come, we will see the difference.

    With one bowler, suddenly you cannot be the best in the world. Sustain these performances of 3 tests to 3-4 series and show that these performances are not an aberration. Let actions speak louder than words...

    Duo of Lillee and Thomson never made these tall claims. Let us go back to work and focus to create more young fast bowlers who can last more than one series and win test matches for Australia. This group of 30 plus years' old will not last long.

    Australian cricket farming sucks as there are more talkers than doers including Greg Chappel. Find a way for the greats to contribute back a little to the future of Australian Cricket!

  • s-holmes on December 23, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Thats really ambitious and bordering on the ridiculous. We all know that Pakistan has the most potent and dangeous bowling attack in the world. The best part about the Australians is that they exaggerate and self-promote themselves to ludicrous heights. Medicore team with average inconsistent bowlers at present. Also this average bowling attack is surely not suited to all conditions. They'd be thrashed elsewhere in the world. Sorry.....keep it real please!

  • s-holmes on December 23, 2013, 12:22 GMT

    Thats really ambitious and bordering on the ridiculous. We all know that Pakistan has the most potent and dangeous bowling attack in the world. The best part about the Australians is that they exaggerate and self-promote themselves to ludicrous heights. Medicore team with average inconsistent bowlers at present. Also this average bowling attack is surely not suited to all conditions. They'd be thrashed elsewhere in the world. Sorry.....keep it real please!

  • on December 23, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Compare stats - Stats dont lie

    Bowling avg South Africa Philander 17, steyn 22, morkel 29, kallis 32, peterson 36

    Australia Harris 22, Siddle 28, Johnson 29, Watson 32, Lyon 33

    South Africas bowling is better ( only a little )

    But South Africas batting is much stronger. Only Ausie batsman to make the current South African team is Clarke

  • heathrf1974 on December 23, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    Whether or not that is the case, it is the batting that needs to improve. I do get annoyed when the Aussies big note themselves. Back it up with results overseas and then you can talk.

  • silentstand on December 23, 2013, 12:16 GMT

    SA is still the best but Australia,is good no doubt

  • vjwithcricinfo on December 23, 2013, 12:03 GMT

    Any good bowler who has control can do well in pacy pitches and forget about Subcontinent pitches where its all batmen's game rather bowler's..Only the batsmen who prepare themself well for the Feb series in SA will succeed and I am sure the Preparation of the SA team will be different for the Australians when compared to the India Series..I beleive Aus will have the upper hand but still it will be a hard fought series.. SA will be a tough team to beat anyways

  • RVC-38 on December 23, 2013, 11:54 GMT

    Why should anyone care if Australia cannot win in India, India cannot win anywhere but in India, by the way congrats, I have been reading the euphoria of actually drawing a test outside of India, there are 4 form teams at the moment the Saffers then daylight, the kiwis and the Aussies, and the unpredictable Pakistan. all with better bowling attacks than India.

  • zzby on December 23, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Pakistan bowling attack is far superior and suited to all kind of pitches, Irfa,Juniad,Abdul Rehman/Gull/Bhatti and Saeed Ajmal+Muhammad Hafeez.

  • on December 23, 2013, 11:09 GMT

    Best Attack......prove it in subcontinent !!!!! uhhh

  • Chris_P on December 23, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    There are so many quality bowlers either coming through or about to come through that it is an embarrassment of riches, I just wish we had the same number of batsmen. Certainly at home, we will be a really tough nut to crack. McDermott has been a stand-out for our bowlers.

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Australia's attack is the best in the world..............in Australia only. Give them slightly different conditions and they struggle to defend 360 even.

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    haha...tell me more please !

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:43 GMT

    Rluctantly i agree with Mcd...S.A have been the best attack for long but lack that element of unpredictability that Johnson brings with his angles and aggression.

  • andrew27994 on December 23, 2013, 10:39 GMT

    A true cricket lover would admit that Pakistan possess the best bowling attack in the world because they can perform on any surface. Australia, England and SA are vulnerable on spin friendly tracks whereas India struggle on green tracks.

  • Captain_Tuk_Tuk on December 23, 2013, 10:37 GMT

    How time change quickly and now odds are in Australia's favor. This Australian side can compete in any condition I reckon. I was watching last night India v/s South Africa and I missed Ausis attitude. I may be a Pakistani but from heart I am Ausis fan now Clarke was ready to lose 4th Test last Ashes and let England create history to win it wow thats the attitude thats the way to do it while last night what I saw was just a waste of whole day.

    Now I know how South Africa chased 400+ against Ausis, because never would've send everybody back to the boundary. I know both team chicken out last night and either of them would've been Australia I would've witnessed a great finish.

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    @JustOUT - 'these' bowlers in Perth? The match where John Hastings shared the new ball with Mitchell Starc?

  • xtrafalgarx on December 23, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    @Imranzia: I don't see how Tahir is a test spinner, at least Lyon doesn't go for runs and gets a few wickets. Also, i don't see how Pakistan has a good attack. Yes, when they had Amir, Asif, Gul and Ajmal that's a world class attack, but the guys now aren't up to it in my opinion.

  • on December 23, 2013, 10:15 GMT

    Hmmmm nice try Coach. But i think Aussie Bowlers, especially Johnson have forgotten the beating at the hands of India when they chased 350 two times

  • Ozcricketwriter on December 23, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    I have been saying this for years that Australia have the best fast bowlers in the world. It is just that they haven't been managed well. With Lehmann in charge now and McDermott the bowling coach, we have seen the difference. Since 2008, Australia has had the best bowling attack in the world.

  • Beertjie on December 23, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    Siddle and Mitch may last a max of 3 years with Rhino virtually certain not to make the next Ashes, so Billy's observation about the backup is particularly revealing. What makes the current line-up and the Saffa's one so good is the variety: Rhino and Steyn's skiddy pace; Mitch's left-arm pace and bounce, Morkel's awkward bounce, Sidds' tireless accuracy, Philander's controlled swing etc. Now to the back-up: Patto and Cummins pace, bounce and reverse versus de Lange's raw pace (he's currently recovering from injury and is no cert to return before February!) and Abbott's decent swing and pace. Starc is a leftie, but there's a young Saffa leftie who played against the A-team a few months ago: Beuran Hendricks: very promising. Finally there's Bird, Coulter-Nile and Faulkner versus Kleinveldt, Tsotsobe and Morris. I wouldn't go trumpeting on how good the attack is if confined to pace, but the spin stocks are better: Lyon and O'Keefe at PE clearly superior even to Harmer and Peterson.

  • it_happened_last_in_2001. on December 23, 2013, 10:01 GMT

    Love the optimism. Ranked No 5 test team. They say pride comes before a fall .... I'd be waiting till the team was ranked number 1, or at least we'd won more than 2 series (both at home btw) in our last 5 before the medallions were minted .... comedy genius !!!

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:59 GMT

    It sure is when they are playing in their own country. When they play in the sub continent only then they will be tested, they lack a quality spinner.

  • Harlequin. on December 23, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    @milepost - I disagree, the 3 SA quicks have the perfect variety: one tight seam bowler, one giant with steep bounce and one demon who can swing the ball at high speed. Ok, not quite perfect, there is no left armer.

    I can see where McD is coming from, almost: if Mitch keeps up his Steyn-esque form, if Harris stays fit enough to challenge Vernons ridiculous average and if Lyon is still able to continually out-think batsmen, then Aus have a right to call themselves the best attack in the world. Until then, as JustOUT said, it does sound a lot like England last year!

  • xtrafalgarx on December 23, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    @JustOUT: He wasn't Coach. Also, the attack that SA 'BLasted" wasn't first choice...they only drew in Adelaide because Pattinson was injured.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    @ JustOUT and Imranzia...You cant get much more testing conditions than Adelaide this year and the dry slow dustbowls England served up last year for bowlers. Admittedly the WACA and GABBA had good bounce and carry however they were still very much in the batsmens favour with little to no lateral movement. South Africa's pitches OTOH have pace bounce and carry as well as loads of lateral movement. Their pitches would rate as probably the spiciest pitches in world cricket and that (along with having very good bowlers) is why they are able to bowl sides out for record low scores (47 etc..). When you bowl well across all of Australia's main grounds you have then proved yourself in diverse; and on the whole very batsmen friendly conditions. In saying this it is humble hard work and discipline which is the secret of this attack and they should keep a low profile rather then giving extra incentives to the likes of Steyn and Philander to blow our vulnerable batsmen out of the water!!

  • xtrafalgarx on December 23, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    On current form, i agree. I was disappointed by SA, Dayle Steyn looked sub par past the first session, Morkel was good but Philander was all over the shop and i won't even talk about Tahir.

    England in England is good and one of the better balanced attacks, but now without Swann they go from being good to struggling i reckon. SA vs AUS should sort it out.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    But austalian batsmen are also not tested in diffrenet condition in test against quality bowling. I still feel that they have only 4 batsmen whose place are fixed i.e. David Warner, Watson, Clark and Hadding (wK) and others like Rogers, Smith and Bailey have not proved enough in test.

    One more thing Johnson is still not acurate with his speed as like Dale Syten who is far better bowler than Johnson. But yes Ausis bowling is improving very fast and would challenge any good batting lineup.

  • Imranzia on December 23, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    It may be the best attack in Australia. Yet to prove themselves in more testing conditions. They don't have a world class spinner. South African an Pakistan attacks are more balanced and versatile.

  • redbrickhut on December 23, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Patience Australia. It's been wonderful watching the performances over the last month or so but to lay claim or to suggest that the bowling attack is the best in the world is at best premature. Australia has outplayed a highly talented but strained side, and one feels South Africa at home will provide a much sterner test. If Australia can reign in the likes of Amla, Faf, Steyn and Philander, then I'll be happy to indulge in this kind of sentiment. Not until then though.

  • nzcricket174 on December 23, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Steyn and Philander are definitely above any of the Australian bowlers, but I'd have to say Australia's balance is a lot better. South Africa lack really do lack a quality spinner, or at least one who can perform his role efficiently. In this South African side, Tahir either needs to be economical or take a lot of wickets, otherwise he is not doing his job well.

  • mahjut on December 23, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    yes they are the best attack in the world IF...

    IF Johnson maintains his form, if players stay fit, if things go right... than again IF mohamned asif and mo'amir were still playing with ajmal and mo' Irfan then they would be best.

    of course, IF marchant had stayed fit and IF tahir could remain consistent the maybe...

    IF ... Oz are looking good at the moment tho' . respec

  • JustOUT on December 23, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Where was Mr.McDermott when they lost 4-0 to India in India? Where was he when SA blasted these bowlers all around the park in Perth last year?

  • humdrum on December 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The strategy of strangling the batsmen has proved to be a surefire winner in this series,but as Siddle said,the batsmen laid the foundation.Against SA,it is unlikely that the going will be as smooth due to the quality of the bowling attack they possess and as pointed out in the article,AB and Amla will be the hardest to dislodge.While it would be silly to pass judgement on this aussie bowling attack,they will definitely be up against it in SA.They are hardly likely to have things all their own way and the Proteas are much tougher(esp mentally) opposition than poor England. Should be a cracking series.

  • milepost on December 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    We are quicker than the SA bowling and more varied.

  • JustOUT on December 23, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Siddle & McDermott are talking as the same way how England bowling coach spoke about their attack and Anderson some time back. Siddle & Company has to prove that they are the best in all conditions against all teams. By winning against Eng at home doesn't mean they are the best. As the article clearly mention, they cannot be same as Steyn & Co who has proved all over the world on what they are made of..

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  • JustOUT on December 23, 2013, 8:58 GMT

    Siddle & McDermott are talking as the same way how England bowling coach spoke about their attack and Anderson some time back. Siddle & Company has to prove that they are the best in all conditions against all teams. By winning against Eng at home doesn't mean they are the best. As the article clearly mention, they cannot be same as Steyn & Co who has proved all over the world on what they are made of..

  • milepost on December 23, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    We are quicker than the SA bowling and more varied.

  • humdrum on December 23, 2013, 9:08 GMT

    The strategy of strangling the batsmen has proved to be a surefire winner in this series,but as Siddle said,the batsmen laid the foundation.Against SA,it is unlikely that the going will be as smooth due to the quality of the bowling attack they possess and as pointed out in the article,AB and Amla will be the hardest to dislodge.While it would be silly to pass judgement on this aussie bowling attack,they will definitely be up against it in SA.They are hardly likely to have things all their own way and the Proteas are much tougher(esp mentally) opposition than poor England. Should be a cracking series.

  • JustOUT on December 23, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    Where was Mr.McDermott when they lost 4-0 to India in India? Where was he when SA blasted these bowlers all around the park in Perth last year?

  • mahjut on December 23, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    yes they are the best attack in the world IF...

    IF Johnson maintains his form, if players stay fit, if things go right... than again IF mohamned asif and mo'amir were still playing with ajmal and mo' Irfan then they would be best.

    of course, IF marchant had stayed fit and IF tahir could remain consistent the maybe...

    IF ... Oz are looking good at the moment tho' . respec

  • nzcricket174 on December 23, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    Steyn and Philander are definitely above any of the Australian bowlers, but I'd have to say Australia's balance is a lot better. South Africa lack really do lack a quality spinner, or at least one who can perform his role efficiently. In this South African side, Tahir either needs to be economical or take a lot of wickets, otherwise he is not doing his job well.

  • redbrickhut on December 23, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    Patience Australia. It's been wonderful watching the performances over the last month or so but to lay claim or to suggest that the bowling attack is the best in the world is at best premature. Australia has outplayed a highly talented but strained side, and one feels South Africa at home will provide a much sterner test. If Australia can reign in the likes of Amla, Faf, Steyn and Philander, then I'll be happy to indulge in this kind of sentiment. Not until then though.

  • Imranzia on December 23, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    It may be the best attack in Australia. Yet to prove themselves in more testing conditions. They don't have a world class spinner. South African an Pakistan attacks are more balanced and versatile.

  • on December 23, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    But austalian batsmen are also not tested in diffrenet condition in test against quality bowling. I still feel that they have only 4 batsmen whose place are fixed i.e. David Warner, Watson, Clark and Hadding (wK) and others like Rogers, Smith and Bailey have not proved enough in test.

    One more thing Johnson is still not acurate with his speed as like Dale Syten who is far better bowler than Johnson. But yes Ausis bowling is improving very fast and would challenge any good batting lineup.

  • xtrafalgarx on December 23, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    On current form, i agree. I was disappointed by SA, Dayle Steyn looked sub par past the first session, Morkel was good but Philander was all over the shop and i won't even talk about Tahir.

    England in England is good and one of the better balanced attacks, but now without Swann they go from being good to struggling i reckon. SA vs AUS should sort it out.