Injury-prone fast bowler James Pattinson’s return to the Test arena will be a stop-start affair, with the seamer rested for the second game of the Ashes, at Lord’s.
- Pattinson missed three years of Test cricket as he battled injuries
- Australia captain Tim Paine said the team was resting him to avoid seeing him break down again
- Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood are in the 12-man squad for second Ashes Test
The 251-run win in the opening Test at Edgbaston was Pattinson’s first since 2016 due to his struggles with injury, particularly to his back, but he has been left out of the squad in London.
Australia captain Tim Paine said the 29-year-old would be back soon and his omission from the squad was only precautionary to prevent him from burning out.
“What’s happened in the past is we’ve got him back, we know how good he is so we keep using him and keep bowling him, and eventually he’s broken again,” Paine said.
“We’re really lucky in the fact that we’ve got two bowlers on the sidelines (Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood) that are world-class and we want to make sure that James is absolutely cherry ripe every time he plays.
Starc had a brilliant World Cup but was not picked for the first Test of the Ashes. (AP: Rick Rycroft)
“He’s available for selection but we’ve decided to rest him for this game and make sure that his long-term future is in really good shape.”
Pattinson is so far the only member of the first-Test XI to miss out for the second Test, but there is still a chance that someone else will join him, as Hazlewood and Starc were added to the 12-man squad.
While England is expected to opt for express pace with Jofra Archer in line for a debut at Lord’s, Paine said Australia would make a “gut feel” call as to the final XI closer to the coin toss for the second Test, which starts at 8:00pm (AEST).
“I think if you look at Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s record at Lord’s, it’s a good venue for one of those to come in and play and be confident in the fact that they can bowl really well here,” he said.
The skipper hailed Starc and Hazlewood for “working their backsides off” after missing out on selection in the first Test.
Special praise was reserved for Hazlewood, who was left out of the World Cup squad in favour of playing with Australia A against county sides around England.
“Whichever one of those two we unleash tomorrow, they are certainly ready to go,” he said.
Paine also seemed to suggest Peter Siddle was relatively safe in the side, saying he had no qualms playing Hazlewood and Siddle in the same pace attack alongside Pat Cummins, despite speculation Starc and Hazlewood would both come into the XI.
Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins played four of the five Ashes Tests together in 2017/18. (AAP: Dean Lewins)
“We can certainly play Josh and Peter together,” he said.
“We haven’t decided that yet, but obviously Mitchell is seen as more of a strike weapon, but he’s been working really hard as well on his control.
“There’s not set combinations.”
Australia has played 38 Tests at Lord’s since 1884 and won 17 of them, giving the tourists the best winning percentage of any Test nation at the ground, including England.
Steve Smith powered Australia to its last Test win at the ground, with 215 in the first innings setting up a 405-run win in 2015.
Australia’s squad for the second Test: Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Tim Paine (capt) Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner