Troy Cooley, the coach who engineered the remodelling of England's series-winning actions last year, says Australia have the better bowling line-up for the Ashes. Since arriving at the Centre of Excellence in Brisbane in May, Cooley has worked with all the local fast men apart from Jason Gillespie, who is in Yorkshire, and yesterday he spent time with Brett Lee in Sydney.
Despite Cooley's praise of the Australians, he said England's bowling unit was "formidable" and the summer would be "a good shootout". "I'm sure they'll be getting themselves organised," Cooley said in The Courier-Mail. "They're very good at looking after themselves, and it will be good to see them over here firing, ready to go." When asked who he thought had the stronger outfit Cooley told AAP: "I think we have."
Cooley said reverse-swing would not be such a big factor in the series because of the Kookaburra balls and the lush grounds, but he wanted his bowlers to know how to use it. "You want to try and have all the deliveries underneath your belt," he said. "Reverse-swing is one of them and you really want the bowler to be able to use that ball. If conditions suit, we'll definitely try to take advantage of it."
Lee was watched by Cooley in the nets in Sydney yesterday and was impressed. "He's a machine," Cooley said. "It's a unique style and it's uncomplicated, and if we can keep it that way it will stand him in good stead. He moves very well and he's very fit. But it's all underpinned by being able to be explosive and roll that arm over quickly."
Cooley said in his role it was important to build a rapport with the bowlers before the season, which begins next month with a warm-up series for the Champions Trophy. "I just need to get them to understand what makes them work well and get them where they want to go," he said.