Bring back the fear factor
When Australia dominated the 2013-14 Ashes series on home soil, they exploited aspects of their opponents’ characters that went far beyond the ability to hit a cricket ball.
They brought fear and intimidation to their game, resulting in one of the most memorable Ashes campaigns in living memory.
The cover boy of this fear factor was Mitchell Johnson, who, adopting the look of the infamous “Chopper” Read, worked to consistently send his opponents back to the dressing room and, eventually, the Mother Country.
As a result, England managed only one century in the entire series and averaged 21.58 per wicket with the bat; their most dismal Ashes average since 1950-51.
On the other side of the coin, the Australian outfit was a class above.
Of the 99 wickets taken by the Aussies in that series, 79 went to fast bowlers at an average of 18.35 and a strike rate of 42.4 per wicket (for those with limited cricketing know-how, these stats tell us they bowled really bloody well.)
The result of those fast bowling efforts was the most statistically dominant series Australia had seen since 1890.
So I hear you ask, what is the key for this upcoming Ashes series down under?
Bring back the fear factor.
Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins – three names that should make the hair on the back of any English kid’s neck stand up.
If these three look to scare the poms from ball one, we could be looking at yet another very dangerous pace attack.
Whatever it was that set Mitchell Johnson’s rocket alight in 2013, here’s hoping the same mystery effect is had on our Aussie quicks prior to ball one in Brisbane.
The First Ashes Test begins on November 23 at the Gabba.