Australia will continue targeting England with bouncers, says Craig McDermott

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“There’s not too many tailenders around the place who bat below seven that enjoy playing a lot of balls around their helmet”

Australia fast bowling coach Craig McDermott has announced that the national team’s pace attack will continue targeting England’s batsmen with bouncers since it has proved to be highly effective.

McDermott added that England’s tailenders will also be targeted since no lower order batsman likes facing deliveries that whiz past their nose.

“That’s been our team plan and I don’t think we’re going to go away from that,” McDermott said. “There’s not too many tailenders around the place who bat below seven that enjoy playing a lot of balls around their helmet, so, so be it. Speaking from my personal experience it never really affected my bowling but it certainly affects your batting.

“The way we want to play our cricket we will continue to do, and what you want to describe that as is up to you. We just want to play good, aggressive, Australian cricket, and keep doing that every single day from the moment we put our feet over the [boundary] rope.”

With Australia’s pace attack of Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson having bowled plenty of overs during the second Test in Adelaide, McDermott stated that the trio will not be bowling a lot of overs in the nets prior to the start of the third Test on Friday.

“We probably won’t bowl too much between now and Friday to be honest, maybe not at all until the morning of the game,” he said. “So it really depends on the next 24 hours and how the medical staff look upon that from a recovery point of view. But as a bowling coach I’m really happy with where the guys are at. You might be sore but if you’re 2-0 up you’re feeling pretty okay, aren’t you.

“As far as recalibrating I don’t think that’s going to be too much of a drama from our point of view, with most of our bowling attack used to bowling at the Gabba or the WACA as their home grounds. We want to be able to swing the ball and bowl good short-pitched bowling when we want to. Our lengths were very good in Brisbane and here, so I’m looking forward more to having them rested and fresh for the start of the game.”

McDermott added that people should stop praising him about Johnson’s newfound spark since “it’s really had nothing to do with me”.

Johnson has taken 17 wickets in the first two Tests at an incredible average of 12.70.

“Everyone keeps talking about me, but it’s really had nothing to do with me to be honest,” McDermott said. “He’s got himself together…the 12 months out of the game has really done him the world of good I think, he’s come back a complete cricketer and he’s on top of his batting, he’s bowling fast, and we’ve got a great unit. They’re not just three or four bowlers, they’re all great mates, and to see them on the dressing room floor yesterday afternoon, sitting together, talking about the game and having a beer is what it’s all about. If we can keep up that sort of camaraderie in our unit we’re going to go really well.”

McDermott also admitted that he talks to the pace bowlers at the boundary very often, but revealed that their conversations are not always about cricket.

“You talk about different things all the time, it might be just stuff, normal everyday things, what’s going on in each other’s lives, family, all those sorts of things,” he said. “It doesn’t always have to be cricket, because if you’re cricket 24/7 your head’s going to explode. It’s good to just talk things through.

“They’ve done their homework, the team’s done their homework, not only from a batter’s handling their bowlers but where our field placements are. It’s not just about getting the ball in the right spot, we’ve set very, very good fields with Michael [Young, the fielding coach] and the team’s input, so it couldn’t be any more complete at the moment.”

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