Same attack possible for all five Tests?

If there was one thing more remarkable than Australia’s success in the most recent Ashes, it was the fact an unchanged attack achieved the 5-0 win.

Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle played all five Tests in the 2013-14 series, a feat unheard of in the modern era.

Fast forward 18 months and Johnson remains the main man, while Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are set to be his support acts.

Starc and Hazlewood both starred in the West Indies and there aren’t expected to be any surprises regarding Australia’s first-choice attack on Wednesday, when the Ashes starts in Cardiff.

So if all goes to plan for Australia, could they field an unchanged attack again?

Cricket Australia’s chief of sports science and sports medicine Alex Kountouris is optimistic, but realistic.

“Theoretically it’s possible. We’ve done it before .. but it doesn’t happen very often,” Kountouris told AAP.

It will have as much to do with form as fitness.

Johnson led the way with 37 wickets in 2013-14, when his side made a mockery of the opposition.

England failed to pass 180 in their first three Test innings of the tour, while games in Brisbane and Melbourne finished inside four days.

It meant extra time to rest and fewer overs to bowl for the pacemen, allowing their bodies to recover for each match.

Kountouris suggested something similar would be required in England if he and doctor Peter Brukner are to repeat the dose.

“An unchanged attack would mean we’re flying. We’re winning games and bowling teams out quickly,” he said.

“When it happened in Australia, we won a lot of games quickly.

“There were four-day Tests and bigger breaks after the five-day Tests.

“You could see it happening, but we’ve got five guys here.”

The biggest challenge will be three-day breaks between the first and second, and third and fourth Tests.

Kountouris and his colleagues have been mapping out workloads and planning for this series since last year.

But the team physio, who has been working in the sport since 1995, knows he is now at the whim of selectors and indeed the contests.

“Once the series starts we just suck it up. We don’t know who is going to play the first Test or how much they’ll bowl,” he said.

“We’re ready for all scenarios and the players are ready.”

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