Warwickshire (UK), July 29 (ANI): Troy Cooley's reputation as the world's premier fast-bowling coach depends on whether he can rehabilitate Mitchell Johnson in time to save the Ashes.
He was lauded as the architect of Australia's defeat in 2005, and England was said to have missed his magic touch when Steve Harmison lost his radar in the following series, in which Australia had the pace bowling guru and won 5-0.
Harmison once said losing Cooley was like losing legendary striker Alan Shearer from his beloved Newcastle United, while the injury-prone Simon Jones likened his influence to that of an older brother and remains in regular contact with him.
According to The Age, Cooley's former boss, Duncan Fletcher, gave him enormous credit for the transformation of Harmison, Jones, Andrew Flintoff and Matthew Hoggard into a formidable seam attack.
''I cannot hand Cooley enough praise. They all have enormous respect for him as a mentor and a coach; psychologically he fits into their group superbly,'' the former England coach wrote in his book, Ashes Regained.
The former Tasmanian pace man was brought back into the Australian fold, much to the annoyance of Fletcher and at great expense to Cricket Australia, precisely for moments like this one.
''He would make his wage in one Test match if he can get Mitchell Johnson back to full flight in this third Test,'' said Damien Fleming, the former Test paceman and Centre of Excellence coach.
''As a coach sometimes you get too big a rap when everything is going well and then you cop it more when things go the other way.
The problem is you can't perform for the players on the field, you can only prepare them, and my big worry with Mitch is that when it's going badly he doesn't seem to be able to coach himself on the field to get himself back into the battle,'' said Fleming
Bowlers who have worked with Cooley in England and Australia say his strength is as much about morale as mechanics and Johnson is in desperate need of an overhaul on both fronts.
Cooley's coaching credentials are impeccable and his mystique as a pace guru was enhanced when he armed England's bowlers with destructive reverse swing in 2005. However, it was generally acknowledged that Australia missed a trick in India last year when Zaheer Khan used it better than the Australian bowlers by scuffing up the ball early, a technique they have tried to emulate in England. (ANI)