McKay salutes Saker influence
Clint McKay © AFP
England bowling coach David Saker has seen his current charges bowl the hosts into a 2-0 lead in their five-match one-day international series against his native Australia.
But the former paceman's influence extends to the opposition, with fellow Victorian Clint McKay impressing for Australia by conceding only slightly more than four runs an over.
"David Saker and I have known each other for a long time," said 29-year-old seamer McKay.
"He's been fantastic for my career. Being a Victorian, he worked with us for a long period of time -- he's fantastic."
And he has seen much of the same Saker effect in an England attack featuring seamers Steven Finn, James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
"It's no wonder why England's bowlers are bowling so well at the moment," McKay said.
"They're bowling a full length, making the ball swing -- that's one of his big strengths, and he's great at summing up batters with his knowledge of the game which he seems to have passed on to English bowlers.
"There's no doubt they've gone on leaps and bounds since he's been involved in the set-up.
"That's his quality. But we have bowling coaches in Australia too, who can do just as good a job.
"And as you can see, we've got these young kids coming through as well.
"We've got James Pattinson, Patrick Cummins and Mitchell Starc -- so there are some great signs for Australian cricket as well."
Wednesday's washout at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground means Australia can no longer win the series although it also ensured England could not over-take their oldest rivals at the head of the 50-over world rankings this campaign.
But England limited overs wicket-keeper Craig Kieswetter said: "We're just trying to improve our skills as a one-day side.
"If we can do that then the rankings will take care of themselves. It's not something we're focusing on."
Meanwhile, in typical Australian fashion, McKay remained bullish about the tourists' chances of getting wins at Chester-le-Street on Saturday and Old Trafford on Tuesday to level the contest.
"We're going for two-all, to draw the series and walk out of here with our heads held high," he said.
"We're really looking forward to getting back out there and having another opportunity to turn that around and get it to 2-1 in this series and have and walk away with some confidence."
Meanwhile McKay is relishing every chance he gets to play international cricket having overcome a career-threatening foot injury.
"Looking back where I was 18 months ago, I never thought I was ever going to play cricket ever again -- let alone internationally," he said.
"I broke my foot -- and the surgeon said that if all the bone graft doesn't take, I won't be able to even walk or run in five to six years' time.
"So to be back out playing international cricket, you've just got to take every day as it comes.
"You take setbacks, but you bounce back."
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