Oz fast bowlers’ inability to swing the ball cost Ashes

Updated: Jan 09, 2011, 21:53 PM IST

Former Australian batsman Mark Waugh believes that the Australian fast bowlers’ inability to swing the ball during the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney cost them the match and the series.

Australia were dismissed for 280 and 281 in their two innings, while England compiled 644, as the visitors went on to win the Test by an innings and 83 runs.

The victory gave England their first Test series win in Australia since the 1986-87 tour.

When asked why England had twice made Australia look foolish on what appeared a good Sydney batting wicket, Waugh said: “It’s really simple - they get the seam straight, our bowlers don’t.”

“It’s a simple method of bowling, but for some reason our bowlers cannot stand the seam up. I just don’t understand it. I could go in the nets now and bowl and get the seam straight,” he added.

Waugh also singled out all-rounder Shane Watson as Australia’s best exponent of reverse swing.

“Shane Watson is our best bowler. He’s the only one that can swing the ball reverse consistently. Mitchell Johnson obviously can’t do that with the way that he bowls,” the 45-year-old said.

“Hilfenhaus bowls with the ball on a very sharp angle. Siddle is not too bad. But Shane Watson is about the only one who gets it to stand up straight,” he added.