Is David Saker England’s Secret Weapon?

England cricket is experiencing a change in fortune over recent months, as the post-ashes slump appears to have refrained from happening like it did back in 2005.

This time around ‘team England’ have gone from strength to strength, having respectably drew a test series in South Africa, won the ICC T20 World Cup and defeated the Aussies in a pointless one-day series recently.

Under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss and the leadership of head coach Andy Flower, England look a rejuvenated team, capable of competing with the best in the world, destroying the weaker teams and competing admirably in all forms of the modern game.

Now to some it may be deemed coincidental but following Ottis Gibson’s appointment as head coach of the West Indies team, England needed to appoint a replacement as fast bowling coach and more importantly someone who believed in Flower and Strauss’ work ethic, approach and hunger to succeed on all levels of the game.

The successful applicant was David Saker (pictured above and below), a little known Australian, plying his trade as an assistant coach at Victoria in his home land after a fairly uneventful playing career, playing only 72 first-class games, though he did take 247 wickets in the process.

Many doubted Saker’s appointment, especially after several more well-known names in the cricketing world had been linked with the job, notably, Jason Gillespie and Craig McDermott, but the appointment has been fruitful, extremely fruitful indeed.

Saker had helped nurture several Australian internationals whilst working with Victoria, Peter Siddle the stand out name among the several who have made the grade.

Since his appointment, Saker has worked within the fearless approach adopted by the English national team and although admittedly issues, problems and training requirements still need to be ironed out, the early signs bode well for a healthy and prosperous relationship.

Adapting to all forms of the game is often a problem for the modern cricketer, but the introduction of the slow bouncer in the T20 World Cup and giving a fresh impetus to the side, are characteristic of the approach used by Saker and the england fast bowling unit.

Praise where praise is due and this has to continue in the forth-coming test-match series against Pakistan as England build towards this winters ashes series in Australia, that will prove to be the proof of the ‘team England’ success pudding that so many desire.

I build the team in place now is fully Flower/Strauss orientated, appointed and managed and Saker fully fits and delivers to the ethos of the national team.

It’s about time the national team was successful for a sustained period of time and that the copious amounts of bowling talent available in this country was used to the maximum, thus giving regular and proud cricket fans like myself many victories to be proud of.

The names making the grade continues to grow and the list truly looks promising and offers possibilities for many years to come.  Here are some of the contenders;

– Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson (both pictured above), Stephen Finn, Tim Bresnan, Luke Wright, Ajmal Shahzad, James Tredwell, Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann, Adil Rashid, Graham Onions.

With possible tips to make the grade for the future including; Stephen Parry at Lancashire and Nathan Buck of Leicestershire offering promising early signs.

Finally we can’t possibly forget the possible return of Andrew Flintoff or the ever reliable Ryan Sidebottom, can we?

England have set a mark, hired the right coaches and installed the correct mentality, now they have to carry this forward over the coming months and years.

Come on England, you can do it!! Can’t you??

Cheers for reading as always.


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