The Ashes Pain

1st August 2013

By Jock Campbell

Ok first test we almost got an unlikely win, giving us hope, but the second test yes it was a debacle. Enough has been said about this, so I’m going to highlight our problems with injury.  How? Because of our batsmen & our bowlers suffer and England’s bowlers got a free ride injury wise and yes that nasty word “rotation”.

Pattinson stress fracture

We know that young fast bowlers if they bowl too much get problems. We know with back-to-back tests fast bowlers are 86% more likely to suffer an injury; there is no surprise that one of our fast bowlers is injured after the first two back-to-back test matches.  No one complain, no one say why us, this in known to happen and if we don’t want to rotate bowlers, then don’t complain in these circumstances that young fast bowler got injured. Unfortunately it’s a bad injury that could take him six months to get back to his peak from.

Our batsmen

After the first test where James Anderson bowled over 70 overs, and if you include warm-ups each day and the 3 training days before the first test, Anderson would have bowled over 100 overs in 8 days.  Add that onto the Lords Test 3 days later and having to bowl on a good batting wicket, Anderson himself was right on the verge of danger territory of breaking down with injury himself. Unfortunately for Australia our batsmen were not good enough to bat for extended periods particularly in the first innings and England bowled him sparingly compared to the first test, managing his physicality quite well and getting the luck of winning the toss and giving him the extra day of not bowling by batting first.

Alternatively our bowlers had to bowl during the all of the first 4 days of the test, once again because our batsmen were not good enough to bat a full day during this test. This puts loads more stress on the bowlers with little or no recovery time again increasing the risk of injury to our quick’s, Pattinson being the unlucky one. As I said last month I thought Mitchel Johnson can still play a big part in this series, even though he wasn’t in the squad, well now he’s in as Patto’s replacement, let’s see what happens.

Rotation policy

Everyone is scared of this and talks tough around it and wants to get rid of it as the Aussies have done. Yes I agree no batsmen rotation and no policy as such. But I certainly think that not playing Patto in back to back tests (where he had broken down a number of times) is better than having him out of the game for 6 months. Better still, all the cricket nations around the World know that back to back tests increase the risk of injuries to fast bowler by 86%. This comes from cricket Australia’s own medical data, yet despite this Cricket Australia continues to agree to back-to-back tests. What will it take to change a controllable that will increase the welfare of the players?

Lets hope for some courage and fight in the next few tests and that the Aussie boys can turn things around, I believe we can, good luck boys.


Jock Campbell is a Sports Scientist, Elite Strength & Conditioning Coach & Level 3 Athletics coach. From 2000 -2005 Jock was the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Australian Cricket Team. During this period the Team was World Champions in both Test Match (No. 1 in Test rankings) and One Day Cricket (World Cup winners 2003 and no.1 in World rankings); it was the most successful period in the teams history.  For more on Jock, see About Us.

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