Swing the thing to test Aussies: Thomson
Former Australia fast bowler Jeff Thomson believes swing bowling could help England in their quest to regain the Ashes. Four years ago in England the ability of Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones to move the ball late at sharp pace played a key role in Australia's 2-1 Ashes series loss.cricket Updated: Jun 25, 2009 07:42 IST
Former Australia fast bowler Jeff Thomson believes swing bowling could help England in their quest to regain the Ashes.
Four years ago in England the ability of Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones to move the ball late at sharp pace played a key role in Australia's 2-1 Ashes series loss.
Although the injury-plagued Jones is now out for the season and Flintoff has only recently returned from a knee problem, England's James Anderson is one of the world's leading swing bowlers.
And 58-year-old Thomson, a ferocious fast bowler who made his name during Australia's triumphant Ashes campaign of 1974-75, believes swing bowling could yet be the undoing of his compatriots once again.
"Our guys are not any good at the ball that moves," Thomson, said on Wednesday.
"Nobody really moves them back home.
"(Ben) Hilfenhaus does, but they don't get enough of it and nobody develops it," added Thomson, whose distinctive slingshot action helped him take 200 wickets at an average of 28 in his 51 Tests.
"England's swing bowlers have always cashed in and they don't promote it back home - it's the most ridiculous thing ever," added Thomson, who formed a celebrated pace partnership with Dennis Lillee.
"Our batsmen against balls that move? Not very good."
Turning to Australia's attack, he added: "Hilfenhaus should be really handy over if he bowls properly. He moves the ball about a bit like (Andy) Bichel used to."
As for 32-year-old fast bowler Brett Lee's prospects of a successful return to the Test side following ankle surgery, Thomson said: "Brett's been out for ages. What is he, 33, 34? It's pretty hard to come back then.
"He is a fit guy, which makes a hell of a difference, but only time will tell. He's a bit of a gamble."
Off-break bowler Nathan Hauritz is the only specialist spinner in Australia's squad and Thomson said: "But I don't think the pace bowling's a problem. It's just spinners - we've got no spinners."
The first Ashes Test starts in Cardiff on July 8.