Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood: The Australian coach has finally revealed his team’s playing XI for the second Test at Lord’s.
Australia had announced a 12-member squad on the eve of the second 2019 Ashes Test against England. Among the only change in the squad was fast bowler James Pattinson being rested in place of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
While Australia were expected to name the final XI at the toss yesterday, the same couldn’t happen as incessant rain didn’t let it happen. However, Australia coach Justin Langer was vocal about both the one last decision his team needed to make before taking the field at Lord’s.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 14, 2019
Mitchell Starc or Josh Hazlewood
“He’s [Josh Hazlewood] got an outstanding record. He’s built up over the past few months. He missed out on the World Cup because we felt he hadn’t played much cricket. We know he’s an outstanding bowler, we know that the style of play against England that his best he should execute those plans really well. He has bowled well the last couple of weeks and we hope he does a good job this Test match,” Langer was quoted as saying about Hazlewood.
While Langer’s words did give Hazlewood an edge over Starc, the Australia coach further gave reasons as to why the right-arm fast bowler is being preferred over the left-arm fast bowler.
“Just the style of play we want to play here against England, he hits a great length, he’s usually pretty miserly with his economy rate, that’s what gave him the edge in this game. Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard decision. If it comes off we know what we are doing, if it doesn’t we don’t, that’s just the business we are in. It was a tough call,” Langer added.
In the last 12 months, Hazlewood has picked 13 wickets in four Tests at an average of 30.61, an economy rate of 2.61 and a strike rate of 70.2. On the contrary, Starc has dismissed 29 batsmen in eight Tests at an average of 28.37, an economy rate of 3.19 and a strike rate of 53.3 in the same period.