BLOG: What's up with Aussie fast bowlers?

What is it with Australian fast bowlers?

This is not the first time that question has been raised over the summer.

But it seems to be the one that is so difficult to answer.

We’ve got the rotation policy, even though the powers-that-be don’t like that term, preferring informed player management.

And the back problems.

If there was paceman that looked pretty safe from that kind of injury, it was Tasmania’s former Sydneysider Jackson Bird.

He looks so smooth and fluent in his bowling action.

So it came as a shock to hear that Bird had been sent back to Melbourne from Chennai because of a bone-stress injury to his back and will not return to the Australian squad in India.

OK, fast bowlers in India are a contradiction in terms. India is synonymous with spinners’ paradise.

Bird was a reserve quick in India which means there wouldn’t be a huge playing workload over there right now.

He wasn’t in the Test side.

He must’ve injured his back at the nets while practising.

Looking a little further down the track, one would like to think that Bird is one of the key bowlers in Australia’s Ashes winter campaign in England later in the year.

Watching him play in two Tests on debut against Sri Lanka last month when he claimed 11 wickets, the tall, rangy Bird possesses all the pre-requisites to be a crucial factor in the Australian lineup bowling in English conditions.

Now he will take no further part on the tour of India.

He will now have to recover from this bone-stress injury in time to be available for selection for the Ashes tour.

And that brings us to the rotation system, or informed player management.

Are they serious about leaving James Pattinson out of the second Test in India?

To even contemplate such a thought is fraught with madness.

The strong Victorian, Pattinson, was Australia’s most effective bowler in the first Test by the length of the straight - and then some.

While we rightly worry about our limited spin stocks in the sub-continent, surely our main strike bowler in the form of the fast, robust Pattinson must be in the team for the second Test starting in Hyderabad on Saturday.

All that to one side for the moment.

It’s easy to focus on our bowling attack.

What about our top order batsmen?

Australia coach Mickey Arthur is right on the money when he says that they have to start racking up big hundreds.

With Michael Clarke nailing yet another century at five and Moises Henriques impressive on debut at seven as well as handy with the ball, it’s now up to David Warner, Ed Cowen, Phillip Hughes and Shane Watson, playing exclusively as a batsman, to put some big scores together.

Remember, this is Test cricket on the sub-continent.

It’s different. It’s difficult.

That’s something they already knew before they flew to India.

However, it is crucial that Australia put up a more consistent showing in the remaining three Tests to provide some confidence going into the Ashes series in England.

Quick reality check: in December England clinched the Test series against India in India.

England will be a real handful on home turf.

Just as India is on its own clay.


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