Former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding believes the Edgbaston pitch needs to favour seam movement this week – but insists a quicker surface would play into Australia's hands.
Holding, who was nicknamed 'Whispering Death' throughout a career that saw him claim 249 Test wickets, has admitted England's pace attack, particularly James Anderson, need helpful conditions to prosper.
He told IBTimes UK: "I'm not sure if they need to make the pitch much quicker but they need to make the pitch a little bit more conducive to seam movement. I don't think England bowlers are going to get 20 wickets on these slow pitches I saw, especially at Lord's.
"They need a little bit of movement – it does not have to be extremely quick – because if it is extremely quick the Australian fast bowlers will take care of that. But you still need some sort of pitch where the fast bowlers can be effective."
The 61 year old, who was speaking at the premiere of new cricket documentary Death Of A Gentleman in London, added that England made the right selection call by dropping Gary Ballance from the number three batting berth.