Mitchell Starc play in first 2019 Ashes Test: The Australian coach has given a huge hint on the left-arm spearhead’s chances for Edgbaston Test.
Despite Australia coach Justin Langer confirming the presence of batsman Usman Khawaja and fast bowler James Pattinson for the first 2019 Ashes Test, Australia still have a few decisions to make with respect to their Playing XI. Admitting the same, Langer believed that selecting the opening pair is going to be “really hard”.
It is believed that opening batsman David Warner will take field at Edgbaston on August 1 without being deeply affected by a knee injury yesterday. However, selecting Warner’s opening pair has it in it to be a daunting task.
“I think the opening partnerships’ going to be really hard. Like in all these selections, there’s literally a case for 17 blokes to play. The opening partnership’s going to be really tough, between Cameron [Bancroft] and Marcus Harris, really hard. They’ve both got a really strong case,” Langer told the reporters.
In the ongoing season of the Championship Division Two, Bancroft has scored 726 runs in nine matches at an average of 45.37 and a strike rate of 45.17 including two centuries and three half-centuries. The 26-year old cricketer had scored a match-winning 93* (194) in Australia’s intra-squad practice match last week.
On the contrary, Harris was Australia’s highest run-scorer in their Test series against India earlier this year. In four Tests, Harris had scored 258 runs at an average of 36.85 and a strike rate of 51.91 including two half-centuries. Playing for Australia A, the southpaw had scored 109 (159) against Sussex earlier this month.
Will Mitchell Starc play in first 2019 Ashes Test?
Being asked about the fast bowlers, Langer didn’t shy away from stating that only one out of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle will get the nod alongside Pat Cummins and James Pattinson in the first Test. “We’ll talk to the boys in the next day or so and try and solidify the 12 anyway, so everyone’s really clear where we’re at.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) July 30, 2019
“There’s probably three [fast bowlers] to be fair, [Mitchell Starc], Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood for one spot. Three pretty good players to try to find a spot for, I reckon. They [the fast bowlers) won’t be rotated as such. Like in the World Cup we’ll pick the best three or four for every game we play,” Langer added.
Not many would have expected Starc to miss the first Test especially after becoming the highest wicket-taker for the second time in a World Cup. However, even if he warms the bench in Birmingham, expect him to play a vital role at some stage during the five-match series.