England’s ‘uncles’ must make Aussies stand out


Surely an experienced sniper can do as much damage as a few rookies with a sporadic machine gun, right?

That must be Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes’ reasoning on the eve of the fourth Test in the Ashes Series against Australia at Old Trafford.

England’s James Anderson (40), Stuart Broad (37), Chris Woakes (34) and Mark Wood (33) are part of the oldest fast bowling attack in the Ashes series since 1928.

Add to that the 36-year-old Moeen Ali who plays the role of specialist spinner, and you have a few “uncles” in the eleven.

However, old does not necessarily mean cold and in Anderson, for example, England has a very successful swing bowler who is also in action on his home ground.

“I don’t think our age is a bad thing,” said Ali.

“We’re talking about Jimmy, Broady, Woakesey and Woody here – excellent bowlers you can always count on. England is undoubtedly also a better team when James Anderson is in the eleven.”

It is true that Anderson has only taken three wickets in his first two Tests (at Edgbaston and Lord’s) in the series, but Ali believes that he has bowled better than the match statistics would have one believe.

In February, he became the oldest bowler since Clarrie Grimmett in 1936 to grace the very top of the Test cricket bowler rankings.

Actually, he can play the lead role in the sequel to Brad Pitt’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button interpreted because he only makes bowling look better as the icing on his birthday cake increases.

Since he celebrated his 35th birthday in 2017, he has taken more than 200 wickets.

In addition, his bowling partnership with Broad is now worth more than a thousand wickets and Stokes believes that this record will not simply be improved.

“I can’t actually see that the record will ever be improved – especially when you consider that less Test cricket is being played,” said England’s red-ball cricket captain.

South Africa’s Dale Steyn has also sung Anderson’s praises before.

“I often watch him when he bowls and it’s really just ridiculous. I could never bowl such big swings or use the batting camp in such a smart way,” said the Protea legend.

Australia enjoys a lead of 2-1 in the series.

The first leg of the Old Trafford Test is sent off at 12pm on Wednesday and the action will be broadcast live on SuperSport.

England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad and James Anderson.