Ever since Simon Jones’ body decided it had had enough of playing Test cricket, England’s bowling attack has been a game of musical chairs, played by a rather ungainly bunch. And of that bunch, only one of them played in the last Ashes series Down Under, not that it’s essential to doing well or anything.
That one bowler was James Anderson, and he didn’t have the best of times, playing two Tests before being dropped. At least this time it hasn’t been seven months since he played in a Test, and he’s come off the back of a rather successful summer as the leader of the pace attack. Nevertheless, he is yet to shake off the tag that he’s a conditions bowler, and he’ll be bowling with the Kookaburra Kryptonite ball instead of the slightly less batsmen-friendly Dukes one. Will be nice if he can make an impact early on in an innings, else he could end up toiling.
Stuart Broad went from a bowler threw hissy fits on a regular occurrence to being a bowler who throws the occasional hissy fit who can also chip in with some handy runs down the order, something which may prove useful if the usual middle order frailties rear their ugly heads. Looks uncannily like Pete Campbell from drama series Mad Men. Doesn’t have to worry much about being the new Botham, but more the new Flintoff. Therefore he should avoid pies/playing with stubble.
Chris Tremlett and Steven Finn are two bowlers who must find getting lift out of pitches easier than finding trousers that fit correctly. Both are also fairly modest in their interviewing style, so don’t expect to see any Glenn McGrath style predictions from them making headlines over the next few weeks. Finn is more likely to play, owing to continuity from the English summer, and long may it continue – I don’t think I’ve seen a bowler whose follow through action involved falling over before.
Rounding off the seam selection is everyone’s rounded Tyke, Tim Bresnan. Not really sure about Bresnan in Tests, but he’s been rather good in the shorter forms of the international game. Good slower ball bouncer and that. Can also bat a fair bit.
Providing England are to stick with the four bowler formula from this summer, I expect Anderson, Finn and Broad to be first choice, especially after their performance against Western Australia (such is the lateness of this post) in Perth last week.