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David Saker re-appointed as England fast bowling coach for Ashes series


England bowling coach David Saker. File.

England bowling coach David Saker. File.
| Photo Credit: Getty Images

David Saker has been re-appointed as England’s fast bowling coach for the upcoming edition of the Ashes series against Australia, which will start in this summer from June 16 onwards.

Saker was in this role during England’s Ashes win away from home in 2010/11 season but was with the opponents in 2017/18 season in which Australia clinched a 4-0 win at home. Saker was approached by Test skipper Ben Stokes last year while part of coaching staff during ICC T20 World Cup winning campaign under head coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler.

The 56-year-old believes that England’s seamers will have an edge over Australia in the series. “I said ‘yes’ straight away because of the magnitude of the occasion. Once Stokesy pushed it, it made it an easy decision. I get asked a lot by my friends at home if it is unusual working for England. But it is like any job, really. If you get offered work and you have not got work, you take it,” Saker said as quoted by Sky Sports.

Saker said it would be exciting to have pacers like Jofra Archer and Mark Wood available because their lethal pace is needed against Australia and the series will be decided by which team bats better. “The outliers are obviously the 150 kmh (90mph) bowlers. It is exciting if we can have Jofra [Archer] and [Mark] Wood available, whether you play them together is another thing, but I think you need that pace against the Australians,” said Saker.

“Playing in English conditions I think it puts their bowling group in front of the Australians, without a doubt. It’ll come down to whatever team can bat the best really, I think both sides know that,” the 56-year-old concluded. He is excited to work with James Anderson and Stuart Broad again and termed Anderson’s longevity as extraordinary. “I am quite close with Jimmy so it is great to see his journey. I played cricket against him when he was 16 or 17 so to think he is still playing cricket now is extraordinary. It is looking to be a hell of a series with these two teams. To win an Ashes you need a good battery of fast bowlers and that is definitely the case with England, but you can say the same about the Australians.”

“His accuracy is amazing, he has still got that amazing skill, probably does not swing the ball like he used to but he does not need to. He uses his wobble seam really well, he wears teams down. He and Stuart have evolved amazingly well.”

“When Stuart first came in, he was quite fast, had that X-factor about him, but he again evolved to be a very accurate, dangerous bowler, using that wobble seam.”

“The amazing thing about Stuart and Jimmy, their body just does not let them down. Because they have got all this knowledge and their actions are so, so repeatable, it is an easy game for them at the moment,” concluded Saker. Saker is currently working with England’s white-ball side in Bangladesh has also agreed to be in situ for team’s 50-over World Cup title defence in India later this year.



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