Australia's Pat Cummins, right, celebrates the dismissal of India's Lokesh Rahul during the fourth Test in Dharmsala
Australia's Pat Cummins, right, celebrates the dismissal of India's Lokesh Rahul during the fourth Test in Dharmsala Tsering Topgyal

Aussies look to have all guns blazing for Ashes

BE afraid, be very afraid.

That's the blunt message for Joe Root's England, with Australia to seriously consider unleashing the four pacemen of the apocalypse this Ashes summer.

Darren Lehmann predicts Pat Cummins is the new fast bowler the world will "fear" and the coach's dream of one day having the 23-year-old sensation spearheading an all-guns blazing attack featuring Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson is close to becoming a reality.

Injury has robbed the speed demon quartet from ever being available at the one time, but Lehmann has said in the past that if he can ever combine their forces Australia will have a cartel to rival the West Indies of the 1980s and 1990s.

For two decades the Windies held international cricket to ransom with a never-ending production line of terrorising speed machines Marshall, Croft, Roberts, Garner, Holding, Ambrose and Walsh.

Now Australia is in that same position after Cummins' sizzling comeback in India.

"He's a superstar and we've got to keep him on the park now, that's the challenge," said Lehmann.

"You saw it, they fear Pat Cummins.

"Most teams will when you're bowling high-octane, swing it both ways and then bowl short when you like.

"We've got great depth. Our ability to get 20 wickets is not going to be too much of an issue, it's making sure we make enough runs.

"You'd love to have them selected together. At the end of the day you've still got to get the right balance to get 20 wickets.

"We've all got to have them fit to start with, that's going to be the biggest thing.

"Whatever happens, it's exciting times for Australian cricket."

Mirroring Cummins' brilliance in India has been Victorian tearaway Pattinson's return in Shield cricket.

 

Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood
Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood DAVE HUNT

Hazlewood is the most consistent bowler in the world and Starc - who is due to return from a foot fracture for the Champions Trophy in June - is capable of destroying a batting order in a session.

Lehmann also praised the ability of back-up bowler Jackson Bird, who went within a whisker of playing in Dharamsala.

However, the process of actually picking four fast bowlers in a Test match is far from an easy one, particularly given the way Nathan Lyon has starred in India.

Lyon showed why he is Australia's No.1 spinner and his 19 wickets were pure class.

On bouncy pitches like the Gabba and WACA - surfaces where Australia could conceivably play four quicks - he is at his most effective.

"He was fantastic, wasn't he? I actually think his day two bowling (in Dharamsala where he took five-for) was the best I have ever seen him bowl for Australia," said Lehmann.

"It's a big call when someone has got 8-50 (in the second Test) and 8-100 the previous tour. But the way he's changed. He's changed his variation. I think he has been brilliant this tour."

News Corp Australia


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