England’s saving grace in the Perth test, centurion Dawid Malan has asked the ECB to handle their fast bowlers with care.
His statement came after injuries to Steven Finn and Craig Overton, before and during the Ashes series respectively. Finn had admitted that the England fast bowlers were losing their sheen and speed thanks to playing on unresponsive pitches and were constantly over-bowled during the domestic season back in England.
Malan urged the ECB to learn from their Australian counterparts and ensure that genuinely quick bowlers like Steven Finn are not reduced to line and length bowlers and also keep them safe from injuries.
"A lot of counties have one fast bowler who they will literally play in every single game," Malan said. "Then, by the time he comes to getting picked for England, he's bowling 80mph and is struggling with his rhythm and his form.”
Malan further said, “Maybe the ECB could look at them and say 'you play two championship matches, then rest one', so they can get used to being able to bowl at full pace as often as they can, instead of counties just bowling the quick guys into the ground. Finny is obviously disappointed that he can't keep that pace up and I think it's just from the amount of cricket he plays."
David Malan gave the example of how Cricket Australia handles its fast bowlers.
"I'm guessing if you look at the amount of cricket Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood play, it would be a hell of a lot less than Steven Finn. And if your workloads are higher and you've got more miles in your legs, it's going to be tough to bowl that pace consistently," he said.
Malan further continued, "People like Finny are going to have to work out what to do about it. If that means they're going to have to have tough talks with their counties, they're going to have to work something out."
Malan also blamed the difference in conditions in England where according to him; many bowlers regularly bowl at medium pace and do a lot with pitch and overcast conditions helping them out. He said that much of the cricket outside England is played on unresponsive pitches and with a different ball.
“You get away with it a lot with the Dukes ball in England," Malan said. "There's a lot of guys that can run in and bowl 78-80mph and make the ball talk all day.”
He continued, "So you pick guys that are more skilful than those who have raw pace.That's what conditions dictate. If you don't move the ball, you don't really have a career in England. That's unfortunate.”
Malan asked ECB to do something about the wickets and give more rest to the quicker guys in the team to keep them ready for big matches.
Malan concluded, “You want guys to be bowling as quick as they can because it not only helps the ECB in terms of the bowlers they produce, but the batsmen as well."