Cook: Only one pace spot up for grabs

England

England captain Alastair Cook has confirmed that Stuart Broad and James Anderson will lead the pace attack during the Ashes in Australia, leaving the third seamer spot up for grabs between various pacemen.

England captain Alastair Cook has confirmed that Stuart Broad and James Anderson will lead the pace attack during the Ashes in Australia, leaving the third seamer spot up for grabs between various pacemen.

Steve Finn, Boyd Rankin and Chris Tremlett will have to work hard in the build up to the first Test in Brisbane next month, as England will use one of them as the third prong in the attack.

Cook said after arriving in Perth: "It's quite clear to see that Jimmy and Broady have done enough over their fantastic careers to be first-choice bowlers.

"We tend to play three quicks so there's one place up for grabs. It's pretty clear for everyone to know that and people have got to stick their hand up.

"If they do well in these warm-up games, the opportunities they get, they're going to put their name there."

Regarding Rankin, the former Ireland bowler, Cook said he was picked for his height and ability to get up to high speeds. All the pacemen in the England side are tall, as the Three Lions look to take advantage of the quicker Aussie decks.

The skipper said of Rankin: "He's a big, tall lump. He can get the ball down pretty close to 90mph. You can see from the selection of the squad we've picked we think pace and bounce will be quite crucial on Australian wickets.

"That's quite common. Very skilful shorter bowlers can have success but in general pace and bounce is quite key.

"He certainly gives us that option. He hasn't played a Test match or been around a Test environment before so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

"I think the next four days in the nets might be interesting with him, Finny, Broady all bowling."

Another option will be Tim Bresnan, who is not as tall and fast but has more experience. But he recently underwent back surgery and has not started bowling again, so Cook was not willing to throw his name into the hat yet.

Cook said of Bresnan: "He might be back bowling 100 per cent by the first Test match – might be. That's the kind of progress we'd hope to see from him.

"He'll obviously have to have some bowling in matches before he goes into a Test match if possible. The performance squad come out as well, so we've obviously got both options available for him to get some matches in.

"But we don't know how his back is going to react. We'll wait and see."

Meanwhile, England did not select a left-arm seamer in the squad, so brought Tymal Mills and Harry Gurney along to Australia to train with the batsmen in the nets. The batsmen must prepare to face Aussie leftie Mitchell Johnson, amongst others.

Cook continued: "We don't have any left-armers in the squad and there's a possibility that we're going to face a couple of left-armers in the Ashes series.

"It's great practice for them, great experience for them, but they're very much there to bowl at us."

Latest