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Aussie bowlers - as good as it gets

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Australian bowling coach Craig McDermott has suggested they might soon test the depth of the attack he rates as the best in world cricket.

McDermott’s bold claim about the strength of their bowling will face severe scrutiny early next year on the South African tour.

Meanwhile, Australia want an Ashes whitewash and McDermott said on Tuesday that they might be on the verge of bringing in fresh bowlers.

A feature of this Ashes series is that Australia have made no changes to their team.

Coach Darren Lehmann is no fan of rotation, instead wanting the best team available.

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon have bowled superbly, while the likes of Doug Bollinger and Nathan Coulter-Nile wait for their chance.

Harris is nursing a knee problem, but continues to perform admirably.

Jackson Bird made a successful return from injury last Friday night in the Big Bash League, underlining the greater depth now available to the selectors.

“It’s not just the bowling attack that’s on the field,” McDermott said about the challenge of the upcoming South African series.

“I think it’s the back-up we’ve got as well.

“That’ll maybe be put to the test over the next couple of weeks. We’ll see.”

McDermott is also adamant about his assessment of the Australian bowling stocks.

“I didn’t tweet that for any other reason,” he said.

“I think we’ve got the best attack in the world.

“It’s very well balanced, particularly with Nathan as our spinner – he’s bowled well – and you’ve got ‘Watto’ (Shane Watson) there as your fifth bowler.

“He’s a pretty handy bowler as a fifth bowler.”

Siddle was happy for McDermott to talk up the attack’s status.

“We’re up there, aren’t we? We’re winning Test matches, we’re bowling well, we’re bowling teams out,” he said.

Siddle added that a greater maturity and improved consistency had served the Australian bowlers well this summer.

“Over the years, we just haven’t been able to consistently build partnerships … bowl consistent lines and lengths,” he said.

“That’s where we’ve got it drummed into us now.

“And it’s always nice when the side isn’t changing – that gives the boys a lot of confidence.”

He spoke of their determination to build pressure on the English batsmen by bowling as many maiden overs in a row as possible.

“It’s known fact that you build enough maidens on opposition, especially back-to-back-to-back maidens, that you generate wickets,” he said.

“We’ve been striving for a long time as a bowling unit to get that consistency right and complete innings together,” Siddle said.

“This series has shown that.

“We’ve always been about partnership with bat or ball.

“With the ball at the moment, this is … the best line-up I’ve played in, where we’ve been able to stick it together and get everything right and win Test matches.”

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