England’s pacemen still the key to success
Graeme Swann may have taken all the plaudits last winter, but this summer England’s success lies in its pacemen taking wickets rather than relying on the spin of one hand.
England’s seamers were in blistering form during their final ODI clash with New Zealand last week, taking seven dismissals during their five-wicket victory over the Kiwis to win the series 2-1.
It was an impressive haul from the bowling attack, with Stephen Finn recording 3/27 while Stuart Broad continued his comeback from injury with a neat double. For captain Alastair Cook, the seamers’ form is vital to England’s success this coming summer, where they face tough back-to-back Ashes series and another match-up with New Zealand.
“Finny got the wickets and with Jimmy (Anderson) as well, for 15 overs we had an exceptionally high standard of bowling,” the captain told BBC Sport.
“Our opening bowlers have had a lot of success against [New Zealand] and that can only hold us in good stead.”
In his latest Michael Vaughan tips column, former England skipper Vaughan has already highlighted the need for Cook’s attack to be consistent if they are to pick apart a resurgent Australia top order this summer.
They will be heavy favourites in the England Cricket betting for the games against New Zealand, but they should be viewed as a warm-up to the greater threat posed by the old enemy later in the summer.
England may have won a historic tour Test series over India last December but their success was mainly down to Swann and Monty Panesar’s ability to turn the ball.
Soon, on England’s flatter, more predictable surfaces, we need pacemen to eke out wickets and so Finn, Broad and Anderson will be expected to maintain their game throughout 2013.
It is a tough ask for fast bowlers, may of whom suffer at least two injuries over the season after putting so much stress on their bodies, but standards must be met and Cook will expect a lot of his attack this March in the New Zealand Tests.