The Ashes: England re-appoint David Saker as fast bowling coach for Australia series

The Ashes: England re-appoint David Saker as fast bowling coach for Australia series

David Saker has been re-appointed England's fast bowling coach for The Ashes against his native Australia this summer.

Saker was in the role in 2010/11 when England won the Ashes away from home - but then in the other dressing room in 2017/18 as Australia cruised to a 4-0 victory down under.

Sake was approached by England Test captain Ben Stokes late last year while part of the coaching staff for the T20 World Cup-winning campaign under head coach Matthew Mott and white-ball skipper Jos Buttler.

The 56-year-old believes England's seam attack will have the edge over Australia's for a series that begins at Edgbaston on Friday June 16.

Saker said: "I said 'yes' straight away because of the magnitude of the occasion. Once Stokesy pushed it, it made it an easy decision.

"I get asked a lot by my friends at home if it's unusual working for England. But it's like any job, really. If you get offered work and you haven't got work, you take it.

"It's looking to be a hell of a series with these two teams. To win an Ashes you need a good battery of fast bowlers and that is definitely the case with England, but you can say the same about the Australians.

"The outliers are obviously the 150kmh (90mph) bowlers. It's exciting if we can have Jofra [Archer] and [Mark] Wood available, whether you play them together is another thing, but I think you need that pace against the Australians.

"Playing in English conditions I think it puts their bowling group in front of the Australians, without a doubt. It'll come down to whatever team can bat the best really, I think both sides know that."

On getting the chance to work with James Anderson and Stuart Broad again, Saker added: "I am quite close with Jimmy so it's great to see his journey. I played cricket against him when he was 16 or 17 so to think he's still playing cricket now is extraordinary.

"His accuracy is amazing, he's still got that amazing skill, probably doesn't swing the ball like he used to but he doesn't need to. He uses his wobble seam really well, he wears teams down. He and Stuart have evolved amazingly well.

"When Stuart first came in, he was quite fast, had that X-factor about him, but he again evolved to be a very accurate, dangerous bowler, using that wobble seam.

"The amazing thing about Stuart and Jimmy, their body just doesn't let them down. Because they've got all this knowledge and their actions are so, so repeatable, it's an easy game for them at the moment."

Saker, currently working with England's white-ball side in Bangladesh, has also agreed to be in situ for the team's 50-over World Cup title defence in India later this year.

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