Dominic Cork on Stuart Broad's struggles, bouncers and England's line-up for Melbourne
Cork on Broad: "He's been trying to work on getting his wrist behind the ball, changing his thumb position but it doesn't just come overnight. "
Last Updated: 22/12/17 4:15pm
In the latest Hit for Six, Dominic Cork discusses Stuart Broad's struggles, short-pitched bowling, England's line-up for the fourth Test at the MCG and his cricketing highlight of 2017.
Why is Stuart Broad struggling to take wickets? Is it too early to write him and Alastair Cook off?
The problem Broad has is that he's got into this way of bowling at left-handers. He's got a fantastic record at Test level bowling to left-handers but his wrist has made it difficult for him to bowl at right-handers - he's almost breaking his wrist.
When Derbyshire played Nottinghamshire in a T20 game it was something he came to me with. He asked if I could see anything and I said exactly what I just said. He's going down the side of the ball and he's losing a bit of pace. Australia's not an easy place to get the ball to move off the straight, so you need your pace.
Stuart's been trying to work on getting his wrist behind the ball, changing his thumb position but, like with anything, it doesn't just come overnight. He knows my opinions on it and he knows what he's got to do. He's been trying to work on it but an Ashes series against the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner is not an easy place to try and work a technical issue out.
However, he's a fantastic bowler and people should get off his back. I get sick and tired of people saying it's time to end people's careers. I've been hearing it a lot from ex-players and commentators. These guys have been in the England side for a long time and they are there for a reason - they are very good players.
Look at the records of Broad and James Anderson as a pair. They have just overtaken Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose and they've not just done that in England, they've done it all around the world. It's time to stop writing people off.
Alastair Cook is another one because he's got a fantastic record. He's got more hundreds than anybody else, 11,000 Test runs to his name and won the Ashes as captain. Yes, he's going through a bit of a bad run but he'll know when it's time to give up. Let him make the decision, not anybody else.
Would you make any changes to the England bowling attack for Melbourne?
It will be interesting to see what England do. The change I think they have to consider is the spinner, because of how ineffective Moeen Ali has been with the ball. He's taken only two wickets in the series so far.
Mason Crane had a fantastic domestic season out in Australia last winter but it's a big ask for him to go straight into a Boxing Day Test match at the MCG and make your debut. I know him, though, and he's quite an aggressive character.
I don't think it will faze him one bit. Australia will definitely try to attack him if he plays and they will look to hit him out of the attack. However, I think it's a really good option for England to go with.
They've also got to look at getting some pace into the attack. Whether that means Mark Wood coming to the team, I don't know. Who do you leave out? Tom Curran is also being spoken about.
We always knew this was going to be a difficult tour for Broad because of the Kookaburra ball and the lack of sideways movement. England have got to stick with him, though, and I think they will, with the leg-spinner coming in the only change they will think about making.
Which young bowlers do you think England should be looking to bring into the squad in the future?
England missed a trick by not taking Liam Plunkett to Australia. Obviously they went with Craig Overton and then Steve Finn, who broke down early on in the tour with injury.
They are also without Toby Roland-Jones and Wood is just starting to get back to full fitness. Then there are the likes of Josh Tongue, Tom Helm and the guys with the England Lions. These guys are the future.
If you look at Test cricket around the world at the moment, apart from Australia, there are not a lot of quicks around with pace like the Aussie attack.
A trio like that only come around once in a blue moon so for me, it's about nurturing the younger guys who are with the Lions. It will be interesting to see who comes through.
Are Australia bowling too many bouncers at England?
I've listened to a lot of what Michael Atherton has had to say and what Steve Smith has said in reply and I think it's down to the umpires at the actual venue. Personally, I don't think Australia are bowling too many bouncers.
I think England's technique against the short ball isn't good - it's easy to say when you are 20,000 miles away watching, but when the ball is hurtling towards you, you've got to be able to get out of the way.
Unfortunately, England have struggled, with Jake Ball, Broad and Anderson. England have just got to accept that it's Australia's ploy and any bowler who can get it up to and above 90mph will use it as a ploy.
This is not a new thing. Bodyline has been happening for years and England have just got to get on with it.
It's difficult and it's hard when you are out in the middle. I was pinned in the face by Damien Fleming in a Perth Test match - the ball went straight through my visor and it does feel like you are being beat up.
Mark Ramprakash also had stitches in his chin and Mark Butcher had a very serious injury in a warm-up game before a Test match against Matt Nicholson, so it is hard.
England have lost the Ashes but is it because of too many bouncers? No, it comes down to the fact Australia have been better than England.
Away from the Ashes, South Africa's Dale Steyn and AB de Villiers are set to make their returns to Test cricket. How important is it to have these guys playing the longer format? And what do you think of the four-day Test experiment?
It will be interesting to see how they both get on. It's great to have them back as it's a must for Test cricket to have these box-office guys playing. It's important to have these big players representing Test cricket, whoever they are.
I'm also looking forward to the four day Test match. I'm covering it for Sky Sports and I'm interested to see how it goes.
It's a day-night game and there are more overs in the day. I'm not expecting Zimbabwe to put up too much of a fight but we'll have to wait and see.
And finally, what is your cricket highlight of 2017?
I thought T20 Finals Day was absolutely brilliant. It was one of the best I've seen in terms of the entertainment, the Flintoff-Lloyd sing-off, Freddie falling and the cricket.
Notts were absolutely fantastic throughout the season but in particular on Finals Day. I'm so pleased for Notts, Mick Newell, Peter Moores and the whole team. Watching Notts was a real highlight for me in 2017.