LONDON, (Reuters) – Australia’s batsmen could be fed a diet of bouncers after England named Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin in their Ashes squad yesterday, said former test player Nasser Hussain.
The tall quartet of pacemen are all capable of bowling at speeds in excess of 90-mph and will find the hard wickets to their liking when the test series starts in Brisbane in November.
“We have seen some of the Australian players, their captain Michael Clarke in particular, not play the short ball that well. So they want to go after them with bouncy bowlers,” former England skipper Hussain told Sky Sports television.
“That’s why they have selected this side. It’s full of bounce. You have got Broad, you have got Finn, you have got Rankin, you have got Tremlett.”
Hussain, who now works as a Sky commentator, said he would have preferred some variety in the selection with the inclusion of swing bowler Graham Onions.
“I personally would have liked to have seen Onions,” the 45-year-old explained. “Just a different type of bowler, just in case you do need a line and length bowler in case Jimmy Anderson gets injured.”
The returning Tremlett, who played his last test against Pakistan in January 2012, tormented the home batsmen by snapping up 19 wickets when England last toured Australia.
The selectors caused a minor surprise by choosing Michael Carberry, who played his only test in Bangladesh in 2010, as the reserve opening batsman instead of Nick Compton.
The 30-year-old Compton hit two centuries in New Zealand in March before briefly losing form and missing out on the five-match Ashes series England won 3-0 at home.
“Congrats to all selected for Ashes. Disappointed to miss out. Honoured to have been a part of a successful year for England cricket,” said the Somerset batsman on his Twitter feed.
Hussain, who played 96 tests for England, agreed Compton was unlucky not to be chosen as backup to captain Alastair Cook and Joe Root.
“Compton will be sitting there today shaking his head saying, ‘What have I done wrong?’,” said Hussain.
“He’s done nothing wrong really. He’s got a couple of hundreds when he played and he’s gone away and got runs since.
“I think they think Compton puts a little bit too much pressure on Cook. When those two bat together it’s a bit too rigid, a bit too one-paced.
“Compton blocking it puts pressure on Cook so they have gone for more of a dynamic one-day style player. Carberry doesn’t block it … he goes after it.”
Hussain believes it will be difficult for Compton to get back in the squad in the future.
“Never say ‘never’ but he’s gone away and got runs and that’s not been good enough,” he said. “All he’s got to do next year is get even more runs.
“There is still a small question mark about Root at the top of the order.”
England, who named wicketkeeper Matt Prior as their vice-captain despite having Twenty20 skipper Broad in the squad, will play three warm-up games before the first test starts on Nov. 21.