Australia's Pat Cummins (left) watches as India's Wriddhiman Saha (centre) and Cheteshwar Pujara run between the wickets during the fourth day of the third Test in Ranchi.
Australia's Pat Cummins (left) watches as India's Wriddhiman Saha (centre) and Cheteshwar Pujara run between the wickets during the fourth day of the third Test in Ranchi. Aijaz Rahi

Australia's fast-bowling riches bad news for England

THE prospect of a four-pronged pace attack spearheaded by fit and firing Pat Cummins and James Pattinson would "send shivers down the spine" of England ahead of this summer's Ashes series, according to former pace ace Mitchell Johnson.

And the rattled English will get an early look at what they could be in for if they switch on the TV this weekend.

They'll see a golden generation of Australian quicks who have promised to explode on the international stage - but have never all been fit at the same time.

Mitchell Starc left India after the second Test with a foot injury but aims to be fit for the Champions Trophy in June, and veteran Peter Siddle remains sidelined with a back injury.

But everyone else is firing - and most are on show this weekend.

Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and potentially Jackson Bird will be on show in Dharamsala from Saturday as Australia attempts to seal a historic series win in India.

And Pattinson will headline the quicks attempting to break into the Australian team when he spearheads Victoria against South Australia in the Sheffield Shield final, starting on Saturday.

The all-pace attack idea has been floated in the past but rarely before has Australia boasted such strength and depth in its fast-bowling stocks.

Hazlewood is the world's top-ranked quick, while left-arm tearaway Starc is widely regarded as the attack's leader - and both Cummins and Pattinson are blessed with the ability to consistently hit 145km/h on the speed gun.

 

Australian bowler James Pattinson.
Australian bowler James Pattinson. DAVE HUNT

Cricket Australia had hoped to ease Pattinson back into cricket after a long run of injuries but the 26-year-old hasn't been holding back, taking 20 wickets in the four Shield games since returning from injury after the Big Bash League.

His outstanding bowling on a seam-friendly deck in Brisbane last week - where he dismantled Queensland to the tune of 5-7 in a six-over spell - put him firmly back in the frame for a Test recall this year.

And let's not forget Bird performed admirably throughout the Test summer and boasts a record of 34 Test wickets at 27.4.

Throw in the likes of South Australian speedsters Joe Mennie, who made his Test debut against South Africa in December, and the Shield's leading wicket-taker Chadd Sayers, who has 54 wickets in 10 first-class matches this summer, and Australia has an embarrassment of riches to pick from ahead of the Ashes opener at the Gabba on November 23.

But back to England and how it'd be feeling if it lobbed at the Gabba and was faced with a green monster.

"I'm sure it's going to send shivers down their spine," Johnson told foxsports.com.au.

"There's nothing worse than having no break from guys bowling 140-plus. England did it to us a couple of times and when you have no relief it becomes bloody hard."

Johnson marvelled at the current fast-bowling depth in Australia, and said it would produce better results for the national team as players spur each other on.

"It sounds good doesn't it? Having all those guys fit and healthy," he said.

"It's going to be a hard job for selectors when all those guys are fully fit. But that's the great thing about cricket.

"You never feel safe and you should never feel safe - you should always be working to get better and keep pushing each other.

"That's what it was like when I first started and when I ended as well.

"There were guys pushing each other. I was pushing Brett Lee, I was pushing Stuart Clark, Nathan Bracken to get into the team. I'm seeing that now with these young guys and that's great."

News Corp Australia


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