Cooley: England attack strong
Australia’s ex-England bowling coach Troy Cooley insists his side will not underestimate the tourists’ pace attack in the forthcoming Ashes series - even in the absence of reverse-swing specialist Simon Jones.
Cooley was a major factor in England reclaiming the famous urn last summer, working closely with seamers Andrew Flintoff, Steven Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and the now-injured Jones, and teaching them the art of reverse-swing bowling.
Australia batsmen Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich and Adam Gilchrist in particular struggled to read the ball off the pitch and out of the hand, with the England quartet capturing 75 scalps between them in the five-Test series.
“They have a very good, formidable attack, and on their day when they’re all firing, it’ll be a good shootout,” said Cooley, who defected to his home country when his contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board expired.
“I’m sure they’ll be getting themselves organised. They’re very good at looking after themselves, and it will be good to see them over here firing, ready to go.”
Cooley maintains Australia have the superior pace attack ahead of the series, and reckons England will receive a taste of their own medicine this time around.
“I think we have [the best attack],” he said. “You want to try to have all the deliveries underneath your belt. Reverse swing is one of them, and if the conditions suit, you really want the bowler to be able to use that ball.
“We’ll be trying those sort of things. If conditions suit, we’ll definitely try to take advantage of it.”
Meanwhile, Cooley said Brett Lee - who he watched bowl to Katich in the nets on Tuesday in Sydney - is looking sharp as his preparation for the Australian summer gears up.
“He looks in pretty good nick at the moment,” Cooley said. “The biggest thing is making sure his workload comes up to scratch and he’s ready to play.
“It’s a very unique style and it’s uncomplicated, and if we can keep it that way, it’ll stand him in good stead.
“He’s been bowling off his short run now for a few weeks and he’s getting his fitness organised. It’s basically getting back to a full run, making sure he’s ready.”