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Ashes 2017: Speed thrills for Australia but not for England

4 December 2017 7:27 AM
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There is strong speculation England will draft Mark Wood into its squad, a move that would be seen as a sign of desperation by the visitors, who have already dropped Jake Ball after one Test.

The talented but injury-prone quick is battling an ankle problem, which cost him selection in England's initial touring party. He is currently in Australia with England's Lions squad, which is their equivalent to an Australia A team.

The 27-year-old claimed 1-64 in 14 overs against a Queensland second XI in his first match in two months.

"They definitely just lack that extra pace in their attack," former Australian swing bowler Damien Fleming said on the BT Sport commentary.

"But I don't like players coming in for one Test and getting dropped as well. You don't want the players second-guessing themselves and feeling like they're playing for their career every Test match."

England coach Trevor Bayliss, who played for NSW in the 1980s and 90s, defended the composition of his attack, saying pace was not the be all and end all for taking wickets in Australia.

"It's certainly well documented that they have three guys that are quicker than ours," Bayliss said.

"It doesn't matter how quick you are – if you bowl straight, batsmen can take advantage of it."

With the exceptions of Devon Malcolm and Simon Jones, England has produced few tearaways in the modern era, though Andrew Flintoff and Ian Botham could crank it up at their top.

"The wickets in England aren't necessarily conducive to fast bowlers bowling, when they don't get much out of the wicket like you can in this part of the world," Bayliss said.

"Maybe that's a little disheartening. Maybe the amount of cricket played could be an issue. It may be cyclical as well."

Also read: Australians keep everyone guessing on final XI to face Pakistan


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