David Saker will be returning to the English team set up as the fast bowling coach for the high-profile Ashes series. Saker, who is currently with the England white-ball squad, has agreed to contribute to the red-ball coaching duties for short period. He was approached by Test captain Ben Stokes last year while being part of the support staff during the T20 World Cup 2022.
Saker was England's bowling coach from 2010- 2015. He was part of the English team's victorious Ashes campaigns in 2010-11 and 2013. He also performed a similar role for Australia during 2016- 2019.
"I don't think I'll do much Test cricket, but I'm doing the Ashes," Saker told the media. "Ben said: 'I'd like to get you involved in the Ashes.' Rob Key [managing director] had already floated it a little bit, but being so busy I wasn't sure if I really wanted to do it. Once Stokesy pushed it, it made it an easy decision. I said yes straight away because of the magnitude of the occasion. I've been involved in Ashes with both parties and the cricket is as exciting as it gets. It's the biggest Test event," he added.
England have been dominant in recent times since Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum joined hands as test captain and coach, respectively. Saker says he is excited to work with the team. Working with England the first time was so much fun. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to do the Ashes with this group because they are the best team in the world to watch at the moment. Baz (Brendon McCullum) will pick a team that he thinks will win and he'll explain what he wants from the players and then it's my job to make sure they can deliver that," he added.
The 56-year-old also praised Anderson and Broad's evolution. "The evolution of Jimmy and Broady, they're so confident in what they can do and they just go out and do it. That's what you want from your bowling group. My job is to make sure the bowlers are doing that. It's also creating an atmosphere in the dressing room that's enjoyable. There's no doubt that people are enjoying turning up to that Test team. It sounds like it's a small thing, but the dressing-room atmosphere is a huge thing in international cricket," he added. Saker also looks to have Jofra Archer and Mark Wood available together.
The Ashes will consist of five Tests starting from June 16. Notably, this is the first time in Ashes' history that no test match of the series is being played in August in England. The first Test will be played from June 16 at Edgbaston with the second to be played at Lords. The two teams will have a crack at each other at Headingley for the third test before taking on the field of Old Trafford and Kia Oval for the final two tests.