Infotainment Factory: Aussies try to squeeze six into three for Lord's

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Saturday, 10 August 2019

Aussies try to squeeze six into three for Lord's


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It's a dilemma Australian selectors won't mind facing.

Which of their six in-form fast bowlers do they pick for the second Test?

James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle did enough to give the Aussies victory at Edgbaston, but there's some serious talent knocking on the door.

In fact, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood could very well bash that door down before day one at Lord's on Wednesday.

In a tour match against Worcestershire this week, Starc (2-56) and Hazlewood (3-34) looked dangerous before the match was abandoned due to a typical British summer storm.

"I'm comfortable where I'm at," Hazlewood told reporters shortly after the game.

The 28 year-old should feel comfortable, because if selectors are serious about choosing 'horses for courses' this series, then he has to come under consideration.

The 198cm livewire has played just one Test at Lord's – but it was a good one. He took five wickets at an impressive average of 17.6 over 30 overs at the world-famous ground in the Ashes of 2015.

But the question becomes – who misses out?

Siddle, perhaps a surprise selection for Edgbaston, did little wrong over the five days. He helped save Australia's first innings with 44 runs in a gutsy partnership with Steve Smith, before taking two wickets in England's first dig.

Cummins is a lock, having taken seven wickets for the match, while Pattinson took two wickets and chimed in with 47 not out with the bat in the second innings.

Michael Neser (2-32 against Worcestershire) rounds out the group of six fast bowlers who selectors have the luxury of choosing from.

"I think every quick really feels the pressure of the other five … and it's great competition to have within the squad," Hazlewood said.

"(I'm) happy to play a role whenever I can."

Starc says winning the Ashes his only concern, and he'll play whatever part is required.

"Everyone prefers to play, but it's pretty exciting the cupboard's full of fast bowlers," Starc said.

"We're here to win the Ashes, we're not just here to make it on the park.

"Whether it's a different bowling attack each game, or the same through five test matches, it's pretty exciting to have that stock there."

Australian captain Tim Paine said the results of this week's tour match would have little bearing on the make-up of the final squad.

"We know that any combination of our bowlers can get the job done," Paine said on Friday.

"We've got some high-quality bowlers on this tour. Today wasn't about seeing anything that we haven't seen before this match.

"We know what we've got sitting on the sidelines, we know how good they are."

The Australian batting line-up is much less likely to change, but that's not to say there aren't some under pressure.

After making just eight and seven in the first Test, opener Cameron Bancroft was dismissed for 33 and seven at Worcester.

David Warner's place in the team is a lot safer, but with just 10 runs in his first two innings since the ball-tampering scandal, he'll be hoping for something more at Lord's.

Australia is yet to say when the squad will be announced, but has indicated the final XI could remain a mystery until the coin toss on Wednesday morning.

It's a dilemma Australian selectors won't mind facing.

Which of their six in-form fast bowlers do they pick for the second Test?

James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle did enough to give the Aussies victory at Edgbaston, but there's some serious talent knocking on the door.

In fact, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood could very well bash that door down before day one at Lord's on Wednesday.

In a tour match against Worcestershire this week, Starc (2-56) and Hazlewood (3-34) looked dangerous before the match was abandoned due to a typical British summer storm.

"I'm comfortable where I'm at," Hazlewood told reporters shortly after the game.

The 28 year-old should feel comfortable, because if selectors are serious about choosing 'horses for courses' this series, then he has to come under consideration.

The 198cm livewire has played just one Test at Lord's – but it was a good one. He took five wickets at an impressive average of 17.6 over 30 overs at the world-famous ground in the Ashes of 2015.

But the question becomes – who misses out?

Siddle, perhaps a surprise selection for Edgbaston, did little wrong over the five days. He helped save Australia's first innings with 44 runs in a gutsy partnership with Steve Smith, before taking two wickets in England's first dig.

Cummins is a lock, having taken seven wickets for the match, while Pattinson took two wickets and chimed in with 47 not out with the bat in the second innings.

Michael Neser (2-32 against Worcestershire) rounds out the group of six fast bowlers who selectors have the luxury of choosing from.

"I think every quick really feels the pressure of the other five … and it's great competition to have within the squad," Hazlewood said.

"(I'm) happy to play a role whenever I can."

Starc says winning the Ashes his only concern, and he'll play whatever part is required.

"Everyone prefers to play, but it's pretty exciting the cupboard's full of fast bowlers," Starc said.

"We're here to win the Ashes, we're not just here to make it on the park.

"Whether it's a different bowling attack each game, or the same through five test matches, it's pretty exciting to have that stock there."

Australian captain Tim Paine said the results of this week's tour match would have little bearing on the make-up of the final squad.

"We know that any combination of our bowlers can get the job done," Paine said on Friday.

"We've got some high-quality bowlers on this tour. Today wasn't about seeing anything that we haven't seen before this match.

"We know what we've got sitting on the sidelines, we know how good they are."

The Australian batting line-up is much less likely to change, but that's not to say there aren't some under pressure.

After making just eight and seven in the first Test, opener Cameron Bancroft was dismissed for 33 and seven at Worcester.

David Warner's place in the team is a lot safer, but with just 10 runs in his first two innings since the ball-tampering scandal, he'll be hoping for something more at Lord's.

Australia is yet to say when the squad will be announced, but has indicated the final XI could remain a mystery until the coin toss on Wednesday morning.

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