The cascade of injuries within the Australian pace bowling ranks again leaves the door ajar for Bulls quick Ben Cutting.
Injuries of his own have cruelled Cutting’s Test cricket hopes in the past.
Cutting enjoyed a dominant 2009/10 Shield season, returning with 46 victims at an average of 24. He was rewarded the following year, being named in the Australian squad for the opening Test against New Zealand.
But the selectors opted for Mitchell Starc, and a long-term injury put Cutting on the back burner.
Perhaps the summer will finally provide a change of fortune for the 26-year-old.
Starc, Ryan Harris, James Pattinson, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird are all in doubt for the Ashes opener at the Gabba.
Peter Siddle will be wrapped in cotton wool and spearhead the attack. Mitchell Johnson’s name is also being circulated again, and he will also need a strong Sheffield Shield showing to prove his worth.
Cutting is no Ryan Harris, but his height and speed will surprise the English top order.
Cutting has also proven himself as one of the most damaging hitters on the domestic scene.
He treated Nathan Lyon with distain en route to belting 109 from 78 balls against South Australia at the Gabba last year.
The frailty of Australia’s top order of late has shown the increasing value of quick runs from the lower order.
Cutting’s dress rehearsal could occur just a week from the opening Test. The Bulls will play NSW at the Gabba – a perfect opportunity to prove his baggy green credentials.
There is no bowler in domestic cricket more deserving of an Ashes debut than Ben Cutting.
If he can perform, and stay on the park, for the opening rounds of the Sheffield Shield season then he will certainly be in the mix for the Gabba on November 21.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 13 September, 2013 12:00PM AEST