Melbourne: Australia’s bowling coach Craig McDermott advise to his pacers to consistently pitch the ball five metres from the stumps, a good metre closer than they had become accustomed to, has seemingly transformed the team’s attack.
Australia had been relying predominantly upon “hitting the deck hard” approach, but McDermott after taking the charge wants his pacers to give the ball a chance to swing and tickle an outside edge.
The change in bowling approach has worked well this summer, and was on show again when Australia beat India by 122 runs in the Melbourne Test.
This begs the question why a swing-led approach was not embraced more in recent years under former bowling coach Troy Cooley, a modest first-class seamer who some influential England insiders say was given too much due for being the so-called architect of Australia’s Ashes demise during his stint as England’s bowling coach in 2005.
Those close to the Australian team maintain swing, the scourge of even the grandest of batsmen, had been encouraged in recent seasons, but McDermott has been able to “cut through” and extract a greater “buy in” because of his imposing playing record. Surely, though, the reason for the turnaround can’t be as simple as that?
“Yes it is. If Craig is telling them something, he can make a point,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram, as saying.
“If there is a guy who only played first-class cricket and a couple of games here or there - he can’t tell them. He can have his theories but people like Craig have been there and done it at the top level consistently. He was one of the greats. Cricket is a very simple sport. Craig knows what he is saying,” he added.