Vodafone Men's Ashes
'Great insight': Broad to pick Aussie mentor's brain
Veteran quick knows how important the small advantages can be in an Ashes contest, and hopes to gain exactly that from former Australia fast-bowling coach Troy Cooley
24 November 2021, 06:44 PM AEST
England paceman Stuart Broad is enthused by the prospect of tapping into the inside knowledge of former Australia fast-bowling coach Troy Cooley as the tourists ramp up their preparations for the first Test in Brisbane.
Having served their two weeks' quarantine, the England squad is into full training mode, and have now been joined by Cooley, who most famously worked with the Old Enemy during the 2005 Ashes before embarking on a long stint with Cricket Australia (CA), largely as a national team fast-bowling coach and then in the pathways program.
Cooley was caretaker coach of the men's Test side when Pat Cummins debuted in South Africa in 2011 and renewed his role as a pace-bowling assistant to Justin Langer during the 2019 Ashes, when Australia retained the urn in the UK for the first time since 2001.
But the 55-year-old, who played 33 first-class matches for Tasmania in the 1980s and '90s, was made redundant by CA in August, and before reportedly taking on a role with the BCCI's National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, he has been recruited by England ahead of the first Vodafone Test at the Gabba on December 8 to work with their seven-strong fast-bowling group, which includes key allrounder Ben Stokes.
"(Cooley) arrived when we got out of quarantine (on) Saturday, but he's with us for a decent period of time," Broad told cricket.com.au. "Really looking forward to picking his brain on Australian conditions, and Australian players, to be honest."
Broad and fellow veteran Jimmy Anderson are the only players in the current group to taste Ashes success in Australia, which they did in 2010-11 courtesy of a landmark 3-1 triumph. Across the past two tours however, the overall scoreline reads a sobering 9-0 in favour of Australia, and Broad is hopeful Cooley can provide even the smallest details that might help bridge that gap.
"He's been in their setup for a long period of time, through development and at the top level," he continued.
"He can give us great insight into Australian batters' mentality; what they're looking to do, where they're looking to score, where they don't like the ball, how (we should) be around them – whether you talk to them, whether you ignore them, whether you sledge them … can you annoy them enough to make a mistake?
"All this sort of detail, we'll be picking Troy's brain, because anything you can get – even a one-percenter on someone – will be really useful for us.
"You need all that sort of stuff to win in Australia. You need to be at the top of your game at all times, and find little chinks in the opposition's armoury."
England began the first of their tour matches on Tuesday against their Lions squad at Redlands in Brisbane. The two teams will then square off again at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane's north from November 30, a day before Australia and Australia A start their three-day match at Redlands.
With the late inclusion of Stokes, England have the luxury of being able to field an extra fast bowler for the Gabba Test, with Anderson, Broad, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Ollie Robinson and Craig Overton all now preparing with the added expertise of Cooley.
Vodafone Men's Ashes v England
Nov 23-25: England v England Lions, Brisbane
Nov 30 – Dec 3: England v England Lions, Brisbane
Dec 1-3: Australian intra-squad match, Brisbane
Dec 9-12: Australia A v England Lions, Brisbane
First Test: December 8-12, The Gabba
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Perth Stadium