CRICKET: After Australia sealed up a historic Ashes victory at Perth, questions have been raised about the moral dilemma of bowling too many bouncers at the English tailenders.

We look into the matter and give our own two cents on the issue.

MOOSE: Bouncer barrage may be going too far

LIKE Ginger and Fred or Abbott and Costello, Ashes cricket and the bouncer go hand in hand.

For decades fast bowlers like Lillee and Thomson, Botham and Willis through to Johnson and Siddle and Anderson and Broad have utilised the short ball to give their side an edge in the long-standing rivalry.

But there comes a time when it stops being just a competitive edge and begins to move into the territory of dangerous.

The phrase "foot on the throat" has been bandied about a lot this series by Australian captain Steve Smith and I love that.

It is a ruthless streak that the Baggy Greens lacked during Michael Clarke's era as captain.

But it is dangerous when the bowlers aim at the heads of the opposition bowlers who aren't as skilled with the bat.

With the Ashes on the line, England number 11 Jimmy Anderson - who averages 10.14 with the bat - faced six bouncers in a seven-ball innings at the WACA on Monday.

The first of those short balls hit Anderson in the grille, which then took out the seamer for a couple of minutes while he was given a concussion test.

The odd bouncer hitting a bloke on the helmet is not a problem but, when you continue to assault the area after he has been hit, that is taking it to a scary new level.

Only this week the new bypass of the Pacific Hwy at Macksville was named after Phil Hughes - maybe this is a reminder of the devastation of the bouncer.

POTTSY: If you can hold a bat, you can face a bouncer

IF YOU stride out to the middle of a cricket pitch with a bat in hand and take guard to face a ball, you should expect to see a bouncer.

The bouncer is a legitimate delivery, and while there's no doubt it's a dangerous delivery that can cause damage, it's something that a batter, of any skill level, should be ready for.

Just like many other sports, cricket is dangerous. A hard ball hit at pace to an unsuspecting or caught off-guard fielder could cause just as much damage as a bouncer.

The Australian bowlers effectively used the tactic of bowling short and at the heads of the tail to rattle them, put them off their game, and in the end, claim their wickets, and it worked.

Granted, the England tail knew very little about the balls whizzing past their nose, and even less about the ones that were hitting their gloves or helmets.

No one wants to see any player get injured in the middle of the pitch, but it's a risk that every batter, from the openers to the number 10, has to deal with.

If England had three genuine quicks who could get the ball up around the earlobes at more than 140kmh, I have no doubt they would be employing the same tactics. It also helps that Australia's tail is more than handy with the willow.

England bowlers should get in the nets, and practise ducking ahead of the Boxing Day Test.



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