The Investec Ashes 2013 July 6, 2013

Ashes attacks: Dizzy and the Dazzler weigh in

Nagraj Gollapudi and Andrew McGlashan
Jason Gillespie and Darren Gough run the rule over England's and Australia's fast bowling
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One area where it is generally accepted that England and Australia are evenly matched is in the pace attacks. Ahead of the Investec Ashes which begins on Wednesday, ESPNcricinfo spoke to Jason Gillespie and Darren Gough and asked them to assess the opposition bowlers.

Gillespie on England

Jimmy Anderson
His biggest strength is his durability. He works really hard to maintain his strength and fitness. He plays a lot of cricket and gets through a lot of work done, but he looks well after himself. And his skills are as important and genuine. He pitches the ball up, swings it both ways, so he is a very clever bowler. It is not an easy thing, to be able to consistently swing the ball, both outswing and inswing, at pace with the accuracy that he has. The way he can set up batsman in the crease, have them lbw, bowled and edging behind is a testament to all the hard work and practice he has put into all these skills. A very clever bowler, who can use the crease well. He has a good bouncer and change of pace. He has the best wrist of any fast bowler in world cricket. And this is his biggest strength. There is no real glaring weakness. But he can be less effective if the ball is not swinging as much. He will still cause problems, but he could be a little bit easier to play against.

Stuart Broad
He gets pace. He gets bounce. Those are his two best attributes. And he is one of these bowlers who seems to find wickets, and finds wickets in clumps. He puts his aggressive style of fast bowling to good use. He is a tall man and with the bounce he can generate, he can cause a lot of problems. Also, if he gets his length right, he can move it away from the straight, especially to the right-handers. The one area he can get better is, sometimes he tends to bowl a bit short and nullify his opportunities to get wickets. He is inconsistent at times with the length: if he bowls a fuller length and gets driven, he switches to pitching pretty much back of a length and then does not pose that much of a threat. If things aren't going his way, his body language can be a bit poor. He needs to make sure to keep that in check. But one of his strengths is his strong character. He is a wicket-taker. He is a match-winner. England need him firing.

Steven Finn
He can bowl fast and that is his biggest weapon. Like Broad, he gets bounce, which he finds from a good length. Finn searches for wickets but he is a young bowler so he is going to be a little inconsistent. He is still learning his trade and is fixing his run-up. When Broad gets his length right, when he bowls that slightly fuller length, he can get the ball to swing a little bit. Finn relies on the seam movement. He can keep the seam up, he can move the ball in and away from the right handers. That is his strength.

Tim Bresnan
He does the donkey work - bowls long spells, never complains, just keeps going. He can swing the new ball and get reverse swing with the old ball. And he can bowl with a lot of pace. But Tim's biggest attribute is, he just keeps running in hard no matter how well the opposition are playing. He does not give up. The one thing he needs to be wary about is when he runs in straight and jumps out - he needs to sort out his back-foot landing, as that can affect his outswing. That is a minor technical detail.

Gough on Australia

James Pattinson
We all know he is going to be a quality bowler; it's whether he can stay fit - that's the biggest issue for him. He's very big, very strong, bowls at good pace, and can move the ball late. That's a terrific combination. He hits the seam back of a length, which is perfect for English conditions, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing him bowl, especially with the Dukes ball, which we all know swings more than the Kookaburra. He can be the real deal.

Mitchell Starc
He was brilliant for Yorkshire last season, and that time in county cricket will have helped him develop his game. I've heard great things about him as an individual. You have to be impressed with the way he bowled in India, in tough conditions, where he kept running in and he led the attack most of the time. He also reverses the ball, which we've seen can be a significant weapon, and although consistency can still be an issue, his ability to create wicket-taking opportunities is priceless

Ryan Harris
He's a strong, skiddy type of bowler and he could be very useful over here. Again, fitness is a major issue with him - and you can't see him playing all the Tests - so they will need to be clever and selective about when he plays. He's a similar style of bowler to myself: he pitches it up full with a hint of swing, and he will be a handful.

Peter Siddle
Just a hard worker. Will run in all day for a captain. He is quicker than some people perhaps give him credit for. A 21st-century version of Merv Hughes in many ways, and can be used during periods where play has perhaps gone a bit flat, to try and back something to happen with a sustained spell of bouncers, or a burst around the wicket. All the best Australian attacks have had someone with that type of aggression. He's gutsy, too, when he bats.

Jackson Bird and James Faulkner
I've not seen much of Bird, but have heard the comparisons to Glenn McGrath in terms of the accurate line and length he can maintain. He is not the quickest, but as McGrath showed, that does not have to matter. In England, maintaining a nagging length can bring plenty of rewards. Quite a few of England's batsmen like to score freely.

Faulkner I watched quite a lot during the Big Bash. He could come into the equation if they want a fifth bowler - and Shane Watson can't bowl much - so you could yet see him playing a part in the series.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi and Andrew McGlashan

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 6, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Agree with @Landl47 pretty much, it has to be Siddle, Patto and Starc. Patto is our genuine new ball bowler, if he can get it right he may just be devastating, getting Cook and Trott early is very important, they are the backbone. Sidds is the worker, we need him, he is a consistent performer and guys like Patto and Starc thrive under his on-field leadership, Patto in particular feeds off him. If the conditions are good he'll get that niggling late movement with his full length, if not then he will just keep running in anyway, witness Adelaide. Starc adds variety and he can threaten with the old ball which makes him a great counterpoint to Patto, can take wickets in clumps too which may just turn a match or two on its head if he is presented with favourable conditions for an hour or two. On top of this all of these guys compete hard with the bat and are good solid fielders. I just think Bird and Harris need a little more game time with both of them coming back from injuries.

  • jmcilhinney on July 6, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    You'd expect Gillespie to have a pretty good idea of where Bresnan's at. Presumably they've talked about the issues Gillespie mentioned at Yorkshire. There's a few bowlers between the teams with whom you pretty much know what you're going to get. It's the wildcards that could be the difference. Any of Broad, Finn and Starc could devastate the opposition if they get it right and Harris should be able to make a significant contribution if he stays fit. Pattinson and Anderson are the spearheads so fitness is a big issue for them too. If either goes down then it will leave a big hole in their team's attack. Despite their relative ages, there's probably more to worry about regarding Pattinson on that count. Australia will be hoping that his run of injuries is at an end and they can get at least average durability out of him. I guess Anderson could empathise, given his injury issues earlier in his career.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 8, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    @Agha Azeem (post on July 7, 2013, 18:00 GMT): yes but if you add up the number of tests played by all those Australian bowlers you mention, the sum is still smaller than the number of tests played by certain singular England bowlers like Anderson. Lets wait and see once this "best attack in the world" has played the same number of tests as the England boys shall we, before we start the meaningless comparisons.

  • Vishnu27 on July 8, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Big_Maxy_Walker: think you have a bit of a short memory. Siddle, along with Hilfenhaus absolutely destroyed India on their last trip down here. He then did a decent job against SA & SL. Look at his numbers. Statistics don't lie: he's done a job at home & away. A consistent performer, who is constantly undervalued & underrated IMO. Not to mention the extremely high price he puts on his wicket when he bats. Why "DON'T" we need a left armer? I would seriously argue the reverse. Mitchell Starc is not MJ, & already is a far better bowler & will only continue to develop. He is a serious weapon: angle, pace, reverse swing, lift & bounce= nasty proposition

  • on July 7, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    i will pick Pattinson 1st, and Bird then!!!! both r too good!!! bird averaging under 20's is fantastic!!!! i don not trust starc he is not consistent!! in TESTS!!!! i will pick Siddle as 3rd pacer!!!! AUStralian attack is best in the world at the moment,!!! england have experience but there bowlers averages above 30's which is not too good just moderate!!! while aussies have under 25 mostly!!!! like pattinson 22, bird! 19(F.C) harris and siddle 27

  • on July 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Siddle`, is first player picked, after the Captain, Clarke, so under-rated, his average, strike-rate, and consistency over the last 4 seasons, have been sensational, very similar too Jimmy Anderson. After he broke-down with back stress fractures, in an ODI, for Australia, 3 years ago he has re-modelled his action and dropped his pace. He was clocked at 158.3, klicks, during that game, how many bowlers have come back from 3 shoulder reconstructions, and 2 bouts of back stress fractures. He can still, bowl mid too high 150 klicks, but now as he has matured he operates in the high 130`s, too high 140`, with the odd really fast 150 klick ball thrown in. He leads Australia`s bowling unit, and coaches, and looks after the Aussie young Fast-Bowlers, should be Vice-Captain, his work with all the young bowlers coming into the Aussie squad, is sensational. He is all about the team, not interested in the kudos, just about getting back the winning culture.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on July 7, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Anderson apart i don't think other English fast bowlers are much of a threat , If only these Aussies can keep their bowlers from breaking down ! because i think they easily have the worlds best fast bowling talent in the world , even better than the so called 'worlds best attack' of SA or England , India is playing yet another boring series with WI and SL so eagerly waiting for ashes to start , hope Australia springs a few surprises and win it

  • on July 7, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    McGrath's knack of getting wickets is much more than simply line and length. If it is that simple there will be several bowlers like him. Please stop comparing anybody who has good control over line and length to McGrath.

  • on July 7, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Australia is shooting themselves in the foot by not having Copeland in the team. You watch.

  • slow.mo on July 7, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Dizzy being in England for so many years gave him the opportunity to know the English bowlers really well. Australia could have hired him as a bowling consultant for Ashes like England hired Buchanan last time.

  • on July 6, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    Agree with @Landl47 pretty much, it has to be Siddle, Patto and Starc. Patto is our genuine new ball bowler, if he can get it right he may just be devastating, getting Cook and Trott early is very important, they are the backbone. Sidds is the worker, we need him, he is a consistent performer and guys like Patto and Starc thrive under his on-field leadership, Patto in particular feeds off him. If the conditions are good he'll get that niggling late movement with his full length, if not then he will just keep running in anyway, witness Adelaide. Starc adds variety and he can threaten with the old ball which makes him a great counterpoint to Patto, can take wickets in clumps too which may just turn a match or two on its head if he is presented with favourable conditions for an hour or two. On top of this all of these guys compete hard with the bat and are good solid fielders. I just think Bird and Harris need a little more game time with both of them coming back from injuries.

  • jmcilhinney on July 6, 2013, 4:31 GMT

    You'd expect Gillespie to have a pretty good idea of where Bresnan's at. Presumably they've talked about the issues Gillespie mentioned at Yorkshire. There's a few bowlers between the teams with whom you pretty much know what you're going to get. It's the wildcards that could be the difference. Any of Broad, Finn and Starc could devastate the opposition if they get it right and Harris should be able to make a significant contribution if he stays fit. Pattinson and Anderson are the spearheads so fitness is a big issue for them too. If either goes down then it will leave a big hole in their team's attack. Despite their relative ages, there's probably more to worry about regarding Pattinson on that count. Australia will be hoping that his run of injuries is at an end and they can get at least average durability out of him. I guess Anderson could empathise, given his injury issues earlier in his career.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 8, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    @Agha Azeem (post on July 7, 2013, 18:00 GMT): yes but if you add up the number of tests played by all those Australian bowlers you mention, the sum is still smaller than the number of tests played by certain singular England bowlers like Anderson. Lets wait and see once this "best attack in the world" has played the same number of tests as the England boys shall we, before we start the meaningless comparisons.

  • Vishnu27 on July 8, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Big_Maxy_Walker: think you have a bit of a short memory. Siddle, along with Hilfenhaus absolutely destroyed India on their last trip down here. He then did a decent job against SA & SL. Look at his numbers. Statistics don't lie: he's done a job at home & away. A consistent performer, who is constantly undervalued & underrated IMO. Not to mention the extremely high price he puts on his wicket when he bats. Why "DON'T" we need a left armer? I would seriously argue the reverse. Mitchell Starc is not MJ, & already is a far better bowler & will only continue to develop. He is a serious weapon: angle, pace, reverse swing, lift & bounce= nasty proposition

  • on July 7, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    i will pick Pattinson 1st, and Bird then!!!! both r too good!!! bird averaging under 20's is fantastic!!!! i don not trust starc he is not consistent!! in TESTS!!!! i will pick Siddle as 3rd pacer!!!! AUStralian attack is best in the world at the moment,!!! england have experience but there bowlers averages above 30's which is not too good just moderate!!! while aussies have under 25 mostly!!!! like pattinson 22, bird! 19(F.C) harris and siddle 27

  • on July 7, 2013, 10:28 GMT

    Siddle`, is first player picked, after the Captain, Clarke, so under-rated, his average, strike-rate, and consistency over the last 4 seasons, have been sensational, very similar too Jimmy Anderson. After he broke-down with back stress fractures, in an ODI, for Australia, 3 years ago he has re-modelled his action and dropped his pace. He was clocked at 158.3, klicks, during that game, how many bowlers have come back from 3 shoulder reconstructions, and 2 bouts of back stress fractures. He can still, bowl mid too high 150 klicks, but now as he has matured he operates in the high 130`s, too high 140`, with the odd really fast 150 klick ball thrown in. He leads Australia`s bowling unit, and coaches, and looks after the Aussie young Fast-Bowlers, should be Vice-Captain, his work with all the young bowlers coming into the Aussie squad, is sensational. He is all about the team, not interested in the kudos, just about getting back the winning culture.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on July 7, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Anderson apart i don't think other English fast bowlers are much of a threat , If only these Aussies can keep their bowlers from breaking down ! because i think they easily have the worlds best fast bowling talent in the world , even better than the so called 'worlds best attack' of SA or England , India is playing yet another boring series with WI and SL so eagerly waiting for ashes to start , hope Australia springs a few surprises and win it

  • on July 7, 2013, 4:23 GMT

    McGrath's knack of getting wickets is much more than simply line and length. If it is that simple there will be several bowlers like him. Please stop comparing anybody who has good control over line and length to McGrath.

  • on July 7, 2013, 1:12 GMT

    Australia is shooting themselves in the foot by not having Copeland in the team. You watch.

  • slow.mo on July 7, 2013, 0:58 GMT

    Dizzy being in England for so many years gave him the opportunity to know the English bowlers really well. Australia could have hired him as a bowling consultant for Ashes like England hired Buchanan last time.

  • kensohatter on July 7, 2013, 0:34 GMT

    Fast bowling is the ONLY department where the aussies in my opinion hold the advantage... but then when you add Swann to the mix the bowling evens up, even more so if watson refuses to be a team player and play as an allrounder. Pattison and Starc are the suprise packets that make or break this series for australia with siddle, bird and lyon there to keep things tight and contain the quality of the english line up. The other reason that australia advantage in the pace dept is mitigated somewhat is that the australian batsmen (clarke excluded) are not going to need world class bowling to get them out. Hughes, haddin and warner both play high risk innings that come off 10% of the time and Cowan, watson and Khawaja havnt really shown their appetite for big runs.

  • Big_Maxy_Walker on July 6, 2013, 20:49 GMT

    How many wins has Siddle contributed to? When has he ever kept the runs down and the pressure on consistently? Bird has that ability. Siddle has played in two Ashes series already. Bird will be a surprise and take a couple of tests at least for the Poms to work out if they can. Pattinson is a shoe in, Starc I don't trust. And Faulkner is another Hastings. Siddle, Bird, Pattinson. We DONT need a left armer. The golden age of the 90s and 2000s didn't always have a lefty and they were very successful

  • on July 6, 2013, 20:21 GMT

    Harris needs to maintain career strike-rate

  • TheMightyPirates on July 6, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    The general consensus seems to be Pattinson and Starc are definite starters and so they should be with such wicket taking potential, raw talent that their suitability to English conditions is they bowl the right areas. With two bowlers who have only played a handful of tests, and a spinner who is relatively inexperienced in first class cricket and hasn't played many more tests, it is essential that Peter Siddle is in the team. His greatest asset to the bowling group apart from his relentless bowling is his leadership. Having four inexperienced bowlers is just giving the initiative to England and if runs start flowing, especially if Pietersen is firing, Bird alone is not going to stem that flow. Siddle has to play and the attack needs to complement each other. The selectors will not pick the best four bowlers, they will pick the attack that gels best together and that means playing Siddle to lead Pattinson and Starc and providing aggression and containment. He's proven himself.

  • on July 6, 2013, 13:04 GMT

    Bird has to be included instead of Siddle. He bowls a good length and line with just enough pace, and can move it.

    Siddle is a great trier, but just bowls too many "hit me for four" balls.Starc can be devastating but also very expensive- he's still got too much of the Mitchell Johnston in him. Pattinson, if fit is by far the best bowler for pace, line, movement and consistency.

    You need someone like Bird to keep it tight for a while, but is also a wicket taker.

    Australia hasn't been able to keep the pressure on enough in the last few years. That's what wins Test matches - as long as your batsmen can score enough runs.

    But that's another matter.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on July 6, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    Gillespie's summaries of England's bowlers are spot on; will be interesting to see how England utilise them and rotate them around if things don't go well for a game or two.

    Gough's summaries have been constructed from people's comments on these forums. As I've been saying on other threads, I can't believe people are talking about dropping Siddle when he's the perfect workhorse for tests. The other bowlers really will be roulette. If Pattinson and Harris don't pick up quick wickets in their opening spells, that's pretty much it - tank dry and Siddle and Lyon left to fill up the bowling quotas. BRING IN McKAY!

    England have made the mistake of leapfrogging young Root up to open now, so the door to skittling-out is further ajar than if they'd stuck with Compton IMO.

  • on July 6, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    boy am i sick of the McGrath and Bird comparisons! they make McGrath out to be some line and length seamer. he had mongrel, moved the ball off the seam, and had killer bounce, as well as impeccable control of line, length and speed.

    In the very short time I have seen Bird he has reminded me of Jackson Bird.

    enough of the lazy cliches

  • tintaman on July 6, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    What a bizarre claim from Gough that Starc was leading the attack in India. He played two tests, took 2 wickets and was easily the least effective of the three fast bowlers.

  • paps123 on July 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Whatever anyone says Anderson and Swann are miles ahead of any AUS bowler currently in sight. Starc and Pattinson do have the potential, no doubt, but cant compare them with the ENG duo at this stage of their career. If the pitches are not green tops and you are required to wriggle out batsman or if it turns as expected, AUS will have their hands full. Besides, AUS batting line up is is of a lesser quality than ENG. Having said that, great teams are built under such downhill circumstances and AUS have a chance to arise again.

  • Mitty2 on July 6, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Also, gough's comments are clueless. Why comment on bird if you haven't seen him? Why comment on starc when you obviously know nothing about him - starc was our WORST bowler in India; worse than Doherty (although it could've been due to his 'bone spurs')? Gough's comments are unreaveling and simplistic, I remember Gillespie writing an article recently on our bowlers - why not get Gillespie to write on both attacks?

    @landl47, we've argued over this before, but I'll say again, patto is more than just the bowl 'em out early in a short spell type of bowler. I thought he showed this brilliantly in India, when he had a very very good average of 27 (compared to anderson's 30). Same with Harris (he showed in the shield final how many long spells he can bowl) but only IF he's fit. And I have to disagree with bird not having a "cutting edge", in the shield he so often outsmarts batsmen and he frequently gets edges/LBWs/bowls. But yes youre right, it's a HUGE risk to play without siddle.

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 6, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    If Faulkner doesn't play the first test, then the selectors don't know what they are doing as his form is just absurd.

  • Brownly on July 6, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Come on, Gough, you can go into more depth than that!

  • Mitty2 on July 6, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    You know what you're going to get from the England fast bowling attack with broad and Finn in: a strong pressurised and threatening attack from Anderson, and then inconsistent, usually unthreatening spells from broad and Finn (this is why bresnan should be in the attack) with the anomaly of a haul from either of them, if we do what we did against steyn and philander in the first two tests in Aus against jimmy, we'll go really well (broad bowling when things aren't going his way is always a laugh).

    The main problem from our attack is that they haven't had any continiuty - we don't know what our best attack is. I watched a lot of the shield last season and would venture to say that bird is our best bowler in the country - just better than Harris. He will be the most successful in the long run and takes wickets on both flat and green tracks (has a better record outside Hobart). He HAS to be in the first test and will compliment patto perfectly. Starc to play because he's in better form.

  • patnaikbiswa on July 6, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Darren Gough is quite clueless about the bowlers and their recent performance. He just states the obvious. No point in saying " I've not seen much of Bird", then why are you writing this? All things stated by him about Pattinson is known to every tom dick and harry, so what value addition is he is giving? Also, Starc's performance in India with the ball was not great and he certainly did not lead the attack!!! . Quality should not be compromise.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Siddle is the leader, Pattinson is the quickest and most dangerous and Starc offers variety and the best potential chance of getting Cook out early. Unless one of these three is injured, I see them playing in at least the first couple of tests.

    If it's not going well for Australia, then no doubt they'll try other combinations. However, Pattinson and Harris together would be asking for trouble, unless Aus picks 4 seamers. Neither of them can carry a big workload and remain effective and both have a history of breaking down. On the other hand, Siddle and Bird don't offer much of a cutting edge, although they can bowl long spells. Faulkner comes in for Starc if Starc's going badly, or possibly as a #7 and 4th seamer, though that leaves the batting light.

    A pretty good summary of the England attack. To me, Bresnan's a useful short-format cricketer but just short of test class. Broad will have a couple of days when he gets a crop of wickets- if only he could be consistent!

  • sifter132 on July 6, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    I like the idea of this, but it's obvious that Goughie in particular hasn't really put a massive amount of research/thought into this. eg. he hasn't seen Bird. And his comment on Starc in particular is very wrong: "You have to be impressed with the way he bowled in India, in tough conditions, where he kept running in and he led the attack most of the time". A) He only played 2 of the 4 Tests, dropped for one, injured for the last, and B) in those 2 Tests he was clearly outbowled by Siddle in the 3rd and Pattinson in the 1st. He took 2/200 in the series! I wasn't impressed, and not just by the figures, he was both inconsistent in line/length and generally unthreatening. Needs to improve.

  • sifter132 on July 6, 2013, 3:41 GMT

    I like the idea of this, but it's obvious that Goughie in particular hasn't really put a massive amount of research/thought into this. eg. he hasn't seen Bird. And his comment on Starc in particular is very wrong: "You have to be impressed with the way he bowled in India, in tough conditions, where he kept running in and he led the attack most of the time". A) He only played 2 of the 4 Tests, dropped for one, injured for the last, and B) in those 2 Tests he was clearly outbowled by Siddle in the 3rd and Pattinson in the 1st. He took 2/200 in the series! I wasn't impressed, and not just by the figures, he was both inconsistent in line/length and generally unthreatening. Needs to improve.

  • landl47 on July 6, 2013, 3:54 GMT

    Siddle is the leader, Pattinson is the quickest and most dangerous and Starc offers variety and the best potential chance of getting Cook out early. Unless one of these three is injured, I see them playing in at least the first couple of tests.

    If it's not going well for Australia, then no doubt they'll try other combinations. However, Pattinson and Harris together would be asking for trouble, unless Aus picks 4 seamers. Neither of them can carry a big workload and remain effective and both have a history of breaking down. On the other hand, Siddle and Bird don't offer much of a cutting edge, although they can bowl long spells. Faulkner comes in for Starc if Starc's going badly, or possibly as a #7 and 4th seamer, though that leaves the batting light.

    A pretty good summary of the England attack. To me, Bresnan's a useful short-format cricketer but just short of test class. Broad will have a couple of days when he gets a crop of wickets- if only he could be consistent!

  • patnaikbiswa on July 6, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    Darren Gough is quite clueless about the bowlers and their recent performance. He just states the obvious. No point in saying " I've not seen much of Bird", then why are you writing this? All things stated by him about Pattinson is known to every tom dick and harry, so what value addition is he is giving? Also, Starc's performance in India with the ball was not great and he certainly did not lead the attack!!! . Quality should not be compromise.

  • Mitty2 on July 6, 2013, 5:49 GMT

    You know what you're going to get from the England fast bowling attack with broad and Finn in: a strong pressurised and threatening attack from Anderson, and then inconsistent, usually unthreatening spells from broad and Finn (this is why bresnan should be in the attack) with the anomaly of a haul from either of them, if we do what we did against steyn and philander in the first two tests in Aus against jimmy, we'll go really well (broad bowling when things aren't going his way is always a laugh).

    The main problem from our attack is that they haven't had any continiuty - we don't know what our best attack is. I watched a lot of the shield last season and would venture to say that bird is our best bowler in the country - just better than Harris. He will be the most successful in the long run and takes wickets on both flat and green tracks (has a better record outside Hobart). He HAS to be in the first test and will compliment patto perfectly. Starc to play because he's in better form.

  • Brownly on July 6, 2013, 5:52 GMT

    Come on, Gough, you can go into more depth than that!

  • Ozcricketwriter on July 6, 2013, 5:54 GMT

    If Faulkner doesn't play the first test, then the selectors don't know what they are doing as his form is just absurd.

  • Mitty2 on July 6, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Also, gough's comments are clueless. Why comment on bird if you haven't seen him? Why comment on starc when you obviously know nothing about him - starc was our WORST bowler in India; worse than Doherty (although it could've been due to his 'bone spurs')? Gough's comments are unreaveling and simplistic, I remember Gillespie writing an article recently on our bowlers - why not get Gillespie to write on both attacks?

    @landl47, we've argued over this before, but I'll say again, patto is more than just the bowl 'em out early in a short spell type of bowler. I thought he showed this brilliantly in India, when he had a very very good average of 27 (compared to anderson's 30). Same with Harris (he showed in the shield final how many long spells he can bowl) but only IF he's fit. And I have to disagree with bird not having a "cutting edge", in the shield he so often outsmarts batsmen and he frequently gets edges/LBWs/bowls. But yes youre right, it's a HUGE risk to play without siddle.

  • paps123 on July 6, 2013, 6:04 GMT

    Whatever anyone says Anderson and Swann are miles ahead of any AUS bowler currently in sight. Starc and Pattinson do have the potential, no doubt, but cant compare them with the ENG duo at this stage of their career. If the pitches are not green tops and you are required to wriggle out batsman or if it turns as expected, AUS will have their hands full. Besides, AUS batting line up is is of a lesser quality than ENG. Having said that, great teams are built under such downhill circumstances and AUS have a chance to arise again.

  • tintaman on July 6, 2013, 6:11 GMT

    What a bizarre claim from Gough that Starc was leading the attack in India. He played two tests, took 2 wickets and was easily the least effective of the three fast bowlers.

  • on July 6, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    boy am i sick of the McGrath and Bird comparisons! they make McGrath out to be some line and length seamer. he had mongrel, moved the ball off the seam, and had killer bounce, as well as impeccable control of line, length and speed.

    In the very short time I have seen Bird he has reminded me of Jackson Bird.

    enough of the lazy cliches