Cricket Australia Items/news/2012/8/12/young-quicks-excite-mcdermott

Young quicks excite McDermott

UPDATED 14 February, 2013 1:17PM AEST | by James Willoughby in Townsville

Australia have a terrific crop of fast bowlers coming through the ranks according to the country's assistant coach at the ICC Under-19 World Cup, Craig McDermott.

McDermott – who resigned from the position as bowling coach with the senior team in May due to family reasons – has reunited with old Queensland team-mate and current Australian Under-19 coach Stuart Law to help mentor the next generation of cricketers.

The 47-year-old played 71 Tests for Australia and transformed the fortunes of the country's bowling attack in his short tenure, in which he encouraged the likes of youngsters James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc to bowl a fuller length.

If McDermott can do the same with the likes of Gurinder Sandhu, Joel Paris and Mark Steketee – who took seven wickets between them as Australia beat England by six wickets in their Under-19 World Cup opener on Saturday – the future will be very bright for Australian cricket.

"I am excited," said McDermott when quizzed about the future of Australia's fast bowling stocks.

"I've known a number of these guys (in the Under-19 squad) for a while now. Mark Steketee, I've coached him since he was about 14.

"Gurinder Sandhu and Harry Conway – I've worked with them for probably about the last 10 weeks as players who have come to the (CA) Centre of Excellence. I have had a fair bit to do with them along with Joel Paris who I have (worked) with for the last couple of years."

McDermott singled Sandhu out for special praise after he finished with 3-27 from 9.3 overs against England in a spell that showcased a wide array of bowling skills.

Sandhu recently became the first Indian-Australian man to play cricket for Australia and with a rookie contract with New South Wales and a Big Bash League deal with the Sydney Thunder, is tipped for a bright future.

"Gurinder is a fine prospect," he said.

"I'm looking forward to some exciting things with him. He has got some good skills, slower ball bouncers and good finishing skills… he is a good death bowler (too). There are not a lot of those around in Australia. He's an exciting prospect for the future."

McDermott's method of success is based on two things: bowling full and being fit.

"The fuller you can bowl, the more chance you have got the ball to swing or nip back off the seam. Keep it simple, keep the ball up. It's a big focus of ours, mixed in with some bouncers," McDermott said.

"They (bowlers) have a program through our strength and conditioning guy, Noel McCarthy, from the (CA) Centre of Excellence. He has given them programs and they have trained very hard for the last three months.

"My motto is that the fitter they are, they longer they can execute in the same area and hold their bowling actions. Fitness is very important."

The quality of the Australian attack at the ICC Under-19 World Cup was the standout feature of Saturday's match.

McDermott said it himself. He was 'very satisfied'. And if their form continues, Law will be as well.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 12 August, 2012 3:57PM AEST

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