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Australia hit wrong headlines again


Australia’s PR machine just keeps turning out the goods after coach, Mickey Arthur, revealed he thinks his side boasts the “best bowling attack in the world”.

Arthur spoke in the wake of Australia’s disappointing ICC Champions Trophy campaign that saw them dumped out of the competition at the group stage and now focus turns to the Ashes later this week.

"[England] are a very good cricket side but I would like to see how they handle pressure for a sustained period of time," Arthur told BBC’s Test Match Special last week. "I honestly believe we can win the Ashes – we have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket."

Maybe Arthur is just trying to rouse some spirit in this dejected side but it’s not the right way to go about it. If he thinks Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon can hit out the wickets as the backbone of a world-beating bowling attack then he does not deserve the coaching role Cricket Australia currently employ him for.

England proved to cricket fans in the previous Ashes they can handle anything Siddle has to offer, while spinner, Lyon, has never played a Test against England. If Arthur thinks Stuart Broad and co. will feel the pressure during this series then how badly is Lyon going to suffer?

Mitchell Starc, who has played two English county seasons at Yorkshire, may impress on familiar wickets but cannot hold up the Australia attack on his own and neither can 12-Test newcomer, Ryan Harris.

What makes Arthur’s comment so surprising is that Australia face arguably the world’s best seam trio in Stuart Broad, James Anderson, and Stephen Finn. The three have impressed in the Champions Trophy and they look set to command the ball during the first Test at Trent Bridge. Should Graeme Swann successfully recover from calf and arm injuries for that Test then openers, Chris Rogers and David Warner, face a near-impossible challenge to lead off successfully.

Arthur’s comments are misjudged and ill-timed after Warner’s recent ban for assaulting England batsman, Joe Root. What Australia do not need right now is another PR cock-up but to claim this rag-taggle attack is the best in the world just makes them look a laughing stock.

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