England bowlers skip warmup to head for Brisbane early

Last Updated: Nov 15, 2010, 17:03 PM IST

Hobart: England signalled the probable makeup of their first Ashes Test bowling attack on Monday with the decision to send four players to Brisbane early rather than playing a warmup match in Tasmania.

Pacemen Stuart Broad, Steve Finn and James Anderson, and offspinner Graeme Swann would leave Hobart on Wednesday, after the first day of England`s four-day match against Australia A, to begin preparations for the Nov. 25 Test, coach Andy Flower said.

"The conditions in Hobart are very different in Brisbane and the ones we will be facing in the first Test," Flower told reporters in a wet and chilly Hobart.

"We want to give that group of bowlers a little head start in those conditions so they`re going three days earlier than the rest of us."

Flower added while they had signalled their likely bowling attack for the first Test there was still a possibility for the bowlers who played in Hobart to put themselves into contention not only for Brisbane but further into the series.

"(Tim) Bresnan, (Chris) Tremlett and Monty Panesar haven`t had a chance in the middle yet so they should be desperate to get out there and prove themselves," Flower added.

"Without a doubt I would say one or two of those guys will be playing Test cricket in the next couple of months.

"You don`t have situations where the same bowling attack plays five Tests in a row.

"It`s a very real opportunity for them and if they perform they could be playing in the first Test."

The 24-year-old Broad, whose height should be well suited to extract bounce from the Gabba pitch, said he was pleased to be heading to Brisbane early.

"I see it as an opportunity to get used to the conditions," Broad said. "We are going to have times when we spend a lot of time in the sun and humidity and we need to make sure our bodies are right for that." Broad said he had felt the four, who had played their opening two games against Western Australia and South Australia, were gelling well as a unit prior to the Test.

"We have had two fantastic warmup games as a bowling group together and we have got some really good plans together and we have communicated well," Broad said.

"We are feeling fairly confident as a bowling unit, its (now) all about mental and physical preparation for the Test match.

"We all feel we have good rhythm and feel confident of taking wickets and are ready to go."

Bureau Report