Woakes top England bowler vs Australia

Cricket - Test match - 22 Nov 23:30

I like Woakes in this attack, from both a positive side of Woakes' ability and also the negatives around the other England bowlers.

First up is Woakes' plus points. He's played here once, taking 6-45 in an ODI. He also hit a 6 to win the game that day, so he'll have happy memories about the ground. He's in good form, taking 12 wickets in the last 2 warm-up games. He's also England's quickest bowler, so he should be the best equipt to extract extra bounce out of the surface which is key here. He had an interrupted summer with injuries, the last series he had in helpful conditions was last year against Pakistan, where he took 26 wickets in 4 tests.

Now, the competition. Anderson is a fine bowler, possibly the best English seamer we've ever had, but his main weapon is swing. The ball just doesn't swing around for long in Australia, and then he's not as threatening. Last tour he only took 10 1st innings wickets in the 5 tests, and at Brisbane overall he has 5 first innings wickets in 3 tests. Originally I'd ear-marked Broad for this market, but he hasn't looked great so far this tour and he was lacking a bit of "nip" this summer. 12 1st innings wickets in 7 tests this summer is a poor return, he's capable of fantastic spells that change games but they are looking few and far between these days.

Ball is the 4rd seamer, he was injured in the warm-up games so he comes here possibly not fully fit and under-cooked. His test record in under-whelming, and barring one spell in a ODI in Bangladesh where his cutters were effective he hasn't looked up to international class. Last up is Moeen, he's a much improved bowler these days but even this summer where he performed exceptionally (30 wickets in 7 tests), only 7 were in the 1st innings. England's 3rd seamer (Wood, Woakes, Roland-Jones) has regularly out-bowled him in the 1st innings. Opposition spin at the Gabba in the last 4 years in the 1st innings have been: Yasir 2-129, Craig 0-156, Ashwin 2-128 and Swann 0-80 so Moeen looks to be up against it.

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Posted 11 months ago

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