Pat puts England on bouncer alert
AUSSIE pace ace Pat Cummins has fired another verbal shot at Joe Root’s England stars, warning them to expect a bouncer barrage in this winter’s Ashes.
Four years ago, Mitchell Johnson’s brute pace and 37 wickets destroyed England’s chances of retaining the Urn, and Cummins believes the Aussie attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and himself has the raw pace to unsettle the tourists Down Under.
Cummins said: “Hope you [England] practise your bouncers because we’ll be bowling a lot of them. No one really likes it if you’ve got real pace and bounce, and real accuracy.”
As much as we try, we just cannot banish the memories of Mitchell Johnson tearing the England batting attack apart Down Under from four years ago. Now the Three Lions get set to make that trip again, with a battle against pace looking very likely given Australia’s predicted line-up, even though James Pattinson has already been ruled out with a back injury.
Facing pace will be something the England unit needs to get used to. They’ll be up against bowling machines as soon as they get to Australia, and will want to test themselves out against guys who can break that 90mph limit in their warm-up games.
The ball doesn’t swing for long in Australia, so the lateral seam movement is minimal as soon as the ball gets soft, which doesn’t take long because the pitches are so abrasive and hard. The Kookaburra seam is smaller than a Dukes seam, too, so you need guys who are a bit taller and a bit quicker.
Mitchell Johnson was that, as well as being deadly accurate, in 2013-14 as he picked up 37 wickets at less than 14 apiece.
He made the batsmen make poor decisions. You don’t get long to think about what decision you’re making and if it’s quick and on the mark every time, it’s not easy.
But, as I’ve said, it does become much easier in Australia the longer you’re in and it can be a dream to be batting. It’s an easier game in the middle-order but you just need to see off any good spells.
You’re playing the ball late anyway when it’s coming at you at 90 clicks, it’s about getting through the tough sessions. They may be a regular occurrence for England. See off Mitchell Starc and here comes Josh Hazlewood or Pat Cummins. But England definitely have the ability to weather the storm.
All great battles in Test cricket have a bowler steaming in and getting a batsman hopping around.
It’s a brilliant spectacle, and nothing beats being in the middle of a great contest like that. Walking out knowing you’re going to face fast bowling is a
We’ve got plenty of batsmen capable of making the most of the bad balls, and that’s vital
buzz, there’s a certain nervousness and fear there, but it’s great.
You just need to control that and not let the excitement get the better of you. You need to keep breathing and relax, and stick to your basics. If the ball hits you, it’s going to break something, but you can’t let that cloud your judgment.
For the great players, they get the excitement out in their walk, with shadow batting and little bursts of energy.
By the time the bowler is running in, that buzz level has dropped. By the second ball, it’s dropped more and after three or four balls, you’re in the place you want to be.
Test cricket should be challenging, and there’s no series tougher than an away Ashes trip.
Australia will be fearful of the England batting line-up. There’s plenty of runs in the Three Lions squad and it’s a team of match-winners.
We’ve got plenty of batsmen capable of making the most of the bad balls, and that’s vital. The ball is already coming quick, so go hard and your edges will fly over the slips.
Plenty to shout about! Pat Cummins has warned England to be on their toes Down Under this winter
Ashes nightmare: Mitchell Johnson took 37 England wickets in the 2013-14 series