A key reason noted behind Australia’s continuous failures in away Ashes assignments has been the inability of the batsmen to adapt to the conditions. As opposed to the flat and hard pitches of Australia, external conditions such as the climate come into the fray in England, which colossally assist the swing bowlers. The Kangaroos have struggled in England thus far, owing to the inability of their batsmen to adjust to the conditions.
A likely remedy for that issue was discovered when the Australians began practicing with the Duke’s ball. Tests in England are played with the Duke’s ball and using that particular ball for practice in Australia could potentially solve a few problems. However, former Australian skipper and batting great Steve Waugh said that he isn’t too convinced about using the Duke’s ball for practice.
“I think it’s a bit overstated,” Waugh said. “It didn’t cause us too many problems back in the ’80s and ’90s. “I think it’s more technique, not the ball they’re using. “The ball is still round and red and the same weight. The seam may be a little bit different but it’s not a huge difference. “I think if you’re concentrating too much on the ball you lose sight of the real issue and that’s your technique.”
Waugh’s teammate Glenn McGrath opened up about the Duke’s ball and said that he enjoyed bowling with it. “I loved bowling with the Dukes ball,” McGrath said. “It felt smaller in the hand, harder, and a good seam. You could get good reverse swing, and just from my experience – I think I averaged a bit over four wickets a Test with the Kookaburra, and a bit over six wickets a Test with the Dukes ball – but if I had the choice, I’d be grabbing the Duke as often as possible,” McGrath said.