safari staff
14 Mar 2023 | 09:26 AM

David Saker returns as England's bowling coach for Ashes

The former Australian pacer is currently with England's white-ball squad in Bangladesh but has agreed to be available during the home Ashes later this year

David Saker, an integral member of England's backroom staff in the white-ball format has agreed to join the Test team ahead of their home Ashes series in June. 

The Australian pacer was part of England's coaching unit in their successful campaign in 2010-2011. On request of skipper Ben Stokes, Saker has agreed to help the team around in this marquee event. 

"I don't think I'll do much Test cricket, but I'm doing the Ashes. Ben said: 'I'd like to get you involved in the Ashes. Rob Key had already floated it a little bit, but being so busy, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do it," he said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo.

"Once Stokesy pushed it, it made it an easy decision. I said yes straight away because of the magnitude of the occasion. I've been involved in Ashes with both parties, and the cricket is as exciting as it gets. It's the biggest Test event," he further added. 

Under the astute leadership of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England have rejigged their style of play and adopted a more dominating approach which has helped Test cricket become more entertaining for the fans. 

"I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to do the Ashes with this group because they are the best team in the world to watch at the moment," he said. 

Brendon McCullum will pick a team that he thinks will win and he'll explain what he wants from the players and then it's my job to make sure they can deliver that."

"The evolution of Jimmy and Broady, they're so confident in what they can do and they just go out and do it. That's what you want from your bowling group. My job is to make sure the bowlers are doing that."

"It's also creating an atmosphere in the dressing room that's enjoyable. There's no doubt that people are enjoying turning up to that Test team. It sounds like it's a small thing, but the dressing-room atmosphere is a huge thing in international cricket," he further added. 

The 56-year-old is also hoping that England have a group of fast bowlers, including the likes of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood to rattle Australia at home. 

"To win Ashes and big series, you need a good battery of fast bowlers, and that is definitely the case about England," he said. "You can say the same about the Australians, but playing on your home patch is always an advantage for a bowling group," Saker said. 

"It's exciting if we can have Jofra and Wood available. Whether you play them together is another thing, but you need that pace against the Australians. The thing those sorts of bowlers can do, they can bowl a spell that can crack a game open."

"The key is to have a group of fast bowlers ready to get selected, so it makes it tough for the selection committee to make a decision. When you get that, you usually get a pretty strong team," he concluded. 

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