A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a London pub to watch the Adelaide Test with Darren Gough and other England fans. It was promotional gig for Greene King IPA. Unfortunately I couldn’t go due to family commitments. I was gutted because Goughie is my favourite England bowler of all time. It would’ve been great to pick his brains about the current team, and ask him what playing in The Ashes is really like.
Fortunately, however, the agency TVC were on hand to interview Goughie and they sent me the following video which you might enjoy. Here’s a link (it’s the 3rd of the videos called ‘IV Darren Gough’). They also sent me some free beer, which was some compensation for missing the event itself! One of the beers was branded ‘Barmy Army’ ale.
Although some of the discussion is a little out of date now (it was recorded a week or so ago), Darren makes some really interesting points about bowling in Australia. It’s fascinating because Goughie himself was a skiddy bowler – a complete contrast to the tall seamers England picked for the Ashes – yet he enjoyed a lot of success down under. It just goes to show that stereotypes can be misleading. You don’t need to be a ‘bang-it-in’ seamer that hits the bat hard to enjoy success on Australian wickets.
Gough argues that it’s wrong to become fixated on bounce in Australia. He says he did well by pitching it up and getting the Australians to drive – something they’re not always used to doing in home conditions. I found this particularly interesting because England’s seamers were (allegedly) told to bowl short of a length at Adelaide – a strategy that backfired big time and cost them the game to a certain extent.
Anyway, give the video above watch. It’s definitely worth a few minutes of your time. If only because Gough is an absolute legend. Remember his hat-trick at the SCG? I was there that day and the third ball in particular was an absolute peach. It might even have got Steve Smith out!
England could really use a bowler like Darren at the moment. It’s not just his pace and personality, but also the contrast he’d provide. With the exception of Jimmy Anderson, all England’s bowlers are very similar: tall, right-arm, medium-fast. Mark Wood might make a difference at the MCG but it won’t matter if he’s instructed to bowl the same length as the other seamers.