Australia Playing XI for first Ashes 2019 Test: Australian coach has confirmed the selection of two players for the Edgbaston Test.
Australia coach Justin Langer has confirmed that batsman Usman Khawaja and fast bowler James Pattinson will take field during the first Ashes 2019 Test match to be played at Edgbaston on August 1. Barring any last-minute setback, expect Khawaja to bat at No. 3 and Pattinson to play as the second-choice fast bowler.
Khawaja, who got injured during the recently concluded ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, has passed a fitness Test which means that he has recovered from an hamstring injury. On the other hand, Pattinson will play his first Test since February 2016.
“Usman Khawaja will definitely be in. He’s fit, ready to go, he’s playing well. He’s a seasoned pro for us, he averages 40-odd [42.53] in Test cricket, his hammy [hamstring] is good, he’s running well, he’s passed all the fitness tests so he’s ready to go. He’ll bat No.3,” Langer told the reporters in Birmingham.
Batting in the top-order for Australia in the last one year, Khawaja has scored 539 runs in eight Test matches at an average of 44.91 and a strike rate of 43.12 including two centuries and two half-centuries.
Speaking about Pattinson, Langer hailed the 29-year old cricketer’s comeback especially after the number of surgeries he has had to his back. “It’s a great story isn’t it, coming back from where he [James Pattinson] was as a young bowler, the back surgeries, to more than likely being selected for this Test match, it’s a great story,” Langer added.
Australia Playing XI for first Ashes 2019 Test
The latest development provided by Langer means that Australia have zeroed in on another two positions in their Playing XI for the upcoming match. Opening up on opening batsman David Warner, Langer further confirmed that the southpaw is “fine” after getting hit on the knee during a net session yesterday.
— ICC (@ICC) July 30, 2019
With Warner and Steven Smith set to make a comeback and Nathan Lyon likely to play as the only specialist spinner, Australia now have to finalize on Warner’s opening partner, their No. 6 and a third fast bowler (alongside Pat Cummins and Pattinson) for the first Test.
While one out of Marcus Harris or Cameron Bancroft will partner Warner at the top of the order, one out of Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuchagne or Mitchell Marsh will play at No. 6. As far as the third fast bowler is concerned, Australia will have to make a tough choice between Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle.