Troy Cooley: A bowling attack needs a pack of leaders

Talking to presspersons at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai on Saturday, Troy Cooley, the former England and Australia bowling coach, said a bowling line-up should have several leaders.

Cooley..."A bowling coach will make a very good head coach."   -  M. Vedhan

Troy Cooley echoed India head coach Anil Kumble’s sentiments when he said a bowling line-up should have several leaders.

Talking to presspersons at the MRF Pace Foundation here on Saturday, Cooley, former England and Australia bowling coach, said, “An attack needs to have a pack of leaders. And the system has to ensure that everyone gets an opportunity to lead.”

He added, “The attack has to have variety. Bowlers hunt in pairs but the same pair cannot bowl all day. So you need to have different pairs.”

A fast bowler for Tasmania in his playing days, Cooley said, “A bowling coach will make a very good head coach.”

At the MRF Pace Foundation with a bunch of promising cricketers from Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Brisbane, Cooley said, “It is important to manage fast bowlers. It’s a high impact discipline that is hard on the body. Bones don’t develop fully until later. A young bowler has to learn to adapt and grow. You need to take care of your pacemen, spread them across matches.”

'Pacemen not robots'

Cooley said the trick was in giving pacemen opportunities while resisting the temptation to play them at all times. “Pacemen are not robots. We have to strike a balance,” he said.

As England coach, Cooley guided swing bowler James Anderson through a testing phase. Now Anderson is among the most successful pacemen in Test cricket. “Jimmy has a phenomenal record. Previously, he had a tendency to run down the middle of the pitch. We corrected that. He went through different phases, tried a few things that worked and some others that didn’t work. In the end, he found out what worked best for him.”

At the Centre of Excellence in Australia, Cooley works closely with Australian legend Greg Chappell. He said, “Greg has some very good memories of India during his time as coach. He has a liking for India.”

Talking about the right bat for youngsters, Cooley said, “If the bat interferes with your natural swing, it is too heavy. The bat should be an extension of your body.”

Cooley said pink ball and day-night cricket will bring more viewers to the game which would only be good for cricket.