English pace bowler Jake Ball has expressed his eagerness to try out a few bouncers on Aussie batsmen in the first Test at the Gabba after declared fit for the Ashes opener.
The 26-year old is hopeful to make the most out of the pitch on Brisbane track when the test begins later this week, as he made a name for himself for extracting extra bounce with his height.
“I hope I can bounce a few of the Aussies out,” Ball said. “I showed in the first couple of games on the tour that I can extract extra bounce, and the Gabba is renowned for being a bouncy pitch. Hopefully, I can show that and nick a few of the Aussies off.
“I’m in a really good position at the minute. I think we’re going to hit the ground running and I hope to surprise a few people. I think we have a really good chance.”
Jake Ball, whose role model was Steve Harmison is keen to replicate his idol in the Ashes tour. The Nottinghamshire speedster has become a near certainty for the first Test after his impressive spells during the warm-up games leading to the Ashes.
Trevor Bayliss rated Ball as the side’s “best bowler” after their warm-up match in Perth and Jack Bairstow called him as the fastest bowler on their side. With all the comments in the pre-Ashes games, Ball is expected to make the best out of Brisbane pitch on Thursday.
“I’m really confident in what I’m doing,” Ball said. “I’ve played club cricket in Australia. I’ve always had in the back of my mind that these pitches can really suit my style of bowling and bowling in Perth and Adelaide reinforced that.”
However, it has not been an easy ride for Ball after sustaining an injury, as there were doubts about his participation in the Ashes. But he managed to recover swiftly and is now a certainty for the Gabba Test.
“There was a split-second where I felt something wasn’t quite right,” he said. “I had my eyes closed, and I was thinking ‘Does it hurt?’ All sorts of thoughts go through your head.
“It was a bit gutting, especially with bowling so well in the first couple of games.
“But the medical staff have been amazing. The last couple of days in Townsville went really well, and I got through 17 overs at full pace and a couple of sessions of fielding. I’m now 100% confident that I can get through a five-day Test. I’m in a really good position.
“You dream about playing in the Ashes. To be here and have a chance of playing is amazing and if I do get the nod, I’ll go out there and give 100%.
“We’re not intimidated. All the batters have dealt with 90mph pace before, and they will deal with it again. They can talk it up, talk about their pace, but it’s nothing that we haven’t faced before. We’ll look to put the pressure back on them.”