Ryan Harris is mobbed by teammates after taking a catch to dismiss England's captain Alastair Cook on the fourth day of the second Test.

Ryan Harris is mobbed by teammates after taking a catch to dismiss England's captain Alastair Cook on the fourth day of the second Test. Photo: Reuters

I rate Nathan Lyon highly as a teammate and he's a great bloke, too. But neither is enough to get him membership of our team within a team: the fast-bowling cartel.

How close are Mitch Johnson, Peter Siddle and me? Put it this way, as I write this, Mitch, the joker of the group, is glaring at me from only a few inches away trying to break my concentration.

The fast-bowling cartel is no myth. I've played a lot of cricket with Sidds and Mitch. We work together well and we know each other well.

While it's frustrating when you're not personally getting wickets, when you're bowling in partnerships as we are doing now - and even Lyono to an extent, but we don't count spinners in our cartel - if one of us is taking wickets and the other is at the other end bowling dots, that doesn't matter; we're all still doing our job.

The concept of a pacemen's union was first drilled into me by Joey Dawes when I moved to Queensland 5½ years ago. He was huge on it. He even has a little company he runs putting spikes on shoes called Fast Bowlers United. Joey, who is now India's bowling coach, was the one who really drilled into me that being in a close group with your fellow bowlers is huge and also helps performance. I think David Saker, who's now with England, did the same for Sidds at Victoria.

It's a bloody tough thing that we do. We've just got to help each other out as much as we can. While some say you're in competition with each other and should be trying to beat each other, at the end of the day if you're bowling well you're going to get picked.

''Billy'' McDermott is another one who makes sure we do a lot together. It's great having him back involved. He keeps things really simple for us, comes around the boundary to us now and again whether we're going good or bad. He doesn't say a lot, to be honest. He just makes sure we're doing the right thing and putting the ball in the right spot.

Billy's idea to have the cartel over for dinner before the Brisbane Test was a ripper. He cooked a nice barbie and we hung out with his family. He's got a couple of beautiful little kids and they were smiling from ear to ear when we got there. We talked a little bit about cricket, but more about just life. At the end of the night I left and thought, ''Far out, we've got a bloody good group here, we are going to have success this summer.''

We've known each other for a long time, grew up playing against each other or with each other. We're all close mates.

We probably seem angry on the field but things are very different when we get together off it. Mitch is always taking the piss out of me - everything I do is wrong in his eyes! But that's what I love about him. And Sidds is the same. We've got that great kind of relationship where we say anything and our bond isn't weakened.

Honest appraisal helps you get better and we're close enough we can do honest appraisals.

If I'm on the ground and getting frustrated, both of them will come to me and give me some advice, sometimes even just a single word. One of the things I'm particularly proud of so far in the Ashes is how disciplined we've been - hopefully enough to undermine the theory we fast bowlers are all larrikins who don't put much thought into what we do. Boof's one of them. I know he reckons we don't have brains, but what we've done now is proof of bowling in partnerships, with plans.

Probably the best example involves Kevin Pietersen. We know KP likes to come at us and play his shots, and that if we tie him down he'll make a mistake. That's what we're doing at the moment, keeping him quiet by bowling him dots.

We're all eager to keep the cartel together for Perth. The first time all three of us played a Test together was three years ago against England, when Mitch and I got 18 wickets between us. Mitch cleaned up with six in the first innings and three in the second, while I did the opposite. Mitch loves bowling there because it's his home state - he bowls rockets. It'll be like the Gabba all over again - maybe even a bit quicker.

We just love what Mitch is doing, bowling fast and scaring them. Sidds and I are just at the other end doing what we can to get him more wickets and success. But one day in Perth it could be my turn or Sidds' turn. Who knows?

The WACA pitch is great to bowl on, just like the Gabba, because the ball goes through. But it can be a tough wicket to bowl on because you've got to bowl a fair bit fuller. It also can be a great place to bat with a very fast outfield, so as a bowler your margin for error is a little bit less. But if we keep bowling the way we've been bowling, we shouldn't have a problem with that.

After that first win in Brisbane when people were getting a bit excited, the team was reminded it had only won one Test in nine, and now two in 10 after Adelaide.

The coach has reminded us, and the captain, too, the battle for the urn is still far from over. But they didn't have to - we all know it anyway. Two-nil doesn't win a series; three-nil will. But in saying that, if we get to three-nil we want to make sure we get to four-nil and then five-nil. We know England is going to bounce back. They're a very good side. We just want to make sure that while we've got them down that we keep them down.