Gibson gets England seal of approval
Bowling coach Ottis Gibson's contribution to England's recent success against Australia was praised in Birmingham by team boss Andy Flower.cricket Updated: Aug 02, 2009 20:31 IST
Bowling coach Ottis Gibson's contribution to England's recent success against Australia was praised in Birmingham by team boss Andy Flower.
England swing bowlers James Anderson and Graham Onions took nine wickets between them as Australia were dismissed for just 263 on Friday's second day of the ongoing third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.
That came after all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had name-checked Gibson for the Barbados-born former Glamorgan and Durham pace bowler's contribution to England's 115-run second Test win at Lord's, which put the hosts 1-0 up in the five-match series.
"Ottis has formed good relationships with all the bowlers," said England coach Flower after Saturday's third day had been washed out without a ball being bowled.
"In doing so he has talked the bowling game with them, influencing them in subtle ways. He knows them well enough to know when to institute change or when to shut up," said Flower.
"He also adds a bit of calmness around the changing room in that he doesn't get flustered very often, he's a nice influence on his bowling group."
Flower's testimonial followed that of Anderson who, after taking Test-best figures against Australia of five wickets for 80 runs on Friday, said of the bowling coach: "Ottis Gibson's done a fantastic job looking at the footage (of the Australian batsmen). The plans are working really well."
England won the 2005 Ashes in part by utilising the reverse-swing knowledge of then bowling coach Troy Cooley, now working with his native Australia after the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) were criticised for not doing all they could to keep him on board.
But it is conventional swing that is proving Australia's undoing at the moment and, so far, their attack has not yet matched England's mastery of this particular skill.
Australia all-rounder Shane Watson, asked what work Cooley was doing with the pace bowlers regarding swing bowling, said: "We have Ben Hilfenhaus who is a big swinger of the ball. So he is certainly someone that has bowled beautifully, especially at Lord's.
"Peter Siddle is a bowler who can defeinitely get the ball to swing a little bit but he is not as big a swinger as Ben Hilfenhaus."
Left-arm quick Mitchell Johnson has struggled so far in this series, with Watson saying: "Obviously, Mitchell Johnson is just trying to find his feet, trying to be consistent and do a really good job for the team.
"At the moment we just have to bowl well no matter what the conditions are, whether it is swinging conditions or it is nice bright sunlight.
"We just have to build up pressure and that is something I think we have not been able to do consistently over the past two Test matches like the English did yesterday (Friday).