Australia are preparing to unleash a battery of fast bowlers to imperil England in the Ashes. The way their wicketkeeper and vice-captain Brad Haddin told it on Monday, it is as if they are keeping them in a locked cage on the Yorkshire moors, before releasing them to do their worst.
“They can’t wait to have a crack in this Test match,” said Haddin. “We’re holding them back, keeping their emotions intact so we can let them loose. It’s going to be exciting to see them unleashed.”
The men he had in mind are Mitchell Starc, James Faulkner but above all James Pattinson, who is expected to bowl above 90mph. The tourists appear to be trying to turn their relative inexperience into an advantage. “We’ve got some very exciting players,” said Haddin. “One thing in our favour is you just don’t know what some of these guys are capable of.”
Haddin preferred not to dwell on the past, with England winning 2-1 in 2009 and 3-1 in Australia in 2010-11. He said: “It hurts, but it’s a new campaign. New dreams are made.”
England are 1-3, Australia 4-1 with bookmakers William Hill for the series. To redress that gap, Australia may need to let loose their dogs of war.