May 272015

MELBOURNE: Caribbean pitches may no longer have the zing to excite express pacemen but Australia will still look to soften up West Indies with a barrage of bouncers in the upcoming Test series, said bowling coach Craig McDermott.

Australia play the first of two Tests at Windsor Park in Dominica next week and have included uncapped leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed in the squad along with front-line off-spinner Nathan Lyon in anticipation of flat, slow pitches.

However, McDermott said Australia’s pacemen could still have an impact after learning some harsh lessons from the slow pitches in the Middle East where they laboured in a 2-0 series defeat by Pakistan last year.

“We’ve just got to make sure we get enough balls in the right areas and be relentless and patient and stick two up their nose an over,” McDermott told Cricket Australia’s website.

He added that he had been talking to pacer Josh Hazlewood and all-rounder Mitchell Marsh in particular about using the crease and creating angles. “They’re both tall blokes so they’re going to get some bounce. We’re allowed to bowl two bouncers an over so let’s use them.”

Australia’s seamers were hammered by Pakistan in both tests in the UAE, with Peter Siddle conceding 217 runs for two wickets and left-armer Mitchell Starc averaging 71 for his two scalps.

But McDermott expected more help from the pitches at Windsor Park and Sabina Park in Jamaica, venue for the second Test.

“I think the ball will swing naturally here more than what it did in the UAE when we had to try to smash it up,” he said. “The seams are a lot wider and a lot bigger here.”  

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th,  2015.

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