ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Pace race: Aussie quicks' health status
A look at how Australia's fast bowlers are going with the World Cup squad to be picked in the not too distant future
9 April 2019, 05:04 PM AEST
When Australia's selectors sit down to pick the World Cup squad this week they will likely be forced into choosing recovering fast bowlers for the title defence in England.
Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson are each at different checkpoints along the comeback trail but all will come into contention for Australia's 15-man World Cup squad.
Below we take a look at the health status of the quicks who represented Australia this summer.
Starc suffered a left pectoral injury in the wake of the second Test against Sri Lanka in Canberra where he claimed 10-100 and bowled with an average speed of 150kph. The left-armer was ruled out of the limited-overs tour to India but was hopeful of making a return during the five-match series in the UAE against Pakistan before a setback curtailed those plans. Starc has returned to bowling and hopes to be coming in off his long run for Australia's Brisbane-based practice matches against a New Zealand side in early May.
The right-armer is back bowling after a long lay-off with a back injury. Routine scans after the Domain Test Series against India revealed a stress fracture in his back, which ruled him out of the Tests series against Sri Lanka and tours to India and the UAE. Hazlewood told The Unplayable Podcast he's resumed bowling, if only off a few paces, and would be "65-70 per cent" fit by the time the World Cup squad gets announced. If chosen, he won't feature in the practice matches against NZ and is aiming to play in Australia's warm-up matches in England.
Cummins has enjoyed an injury-free summer to become Australia's best and most resilient bowler in all forms. After a brilliant Test season, the 25-year-old shot up the ICC Test bowling rankings to the No.1 spot and in just six ODIs in 2019 he has taken 17 wickets. Australia's newfound dominance in the 50-over format allowed him to take most of the ODI series against Pakistan off. Cummins now looms as the lynchpin in any Australia team he is part of and will link up with his teammates in Brisbane in May.
Of the most concern for the National Selection Panel is the fitness of Jhye Richardson. The youngster was enjoying a stellar breakout season before he dislocated his shoulder attempting an athletic stop in the field in the second ODI against Pakistan in Sharjah. He was sent home immediately where scans revealed a "best case scenario" for the 22-year-old. Richardson won't undergo surgery and remains hopeful of proving his fitness for the World Cup.
Perhaps the only other fast bowler under any kind of injury cloud is Kane Richardson. The right-armer was sent home from the tour of India after sustaining a side injury batting in the nets. But in only a few weeks, Richardson recovered and made his way to the UAE to rejoin the ODI unit. He played the final two games in the series and was a clutch performer, bowling the penultimate over in the tense fourth ODI win in Dubai.
The towering left-armer missed the fourth ODI in Dubai with a stomach bug but returned to play the series finale and take 3-63. Having battled serious back injuries throughout his career, Behrendorff took a measured approach to his latest setback, deciding to operate as a white-ball specialist this summer. The move has paid dividends, with the 28-year-old making his ODI debut against India in Sydney and featuring on both tours of Asia. He is now back in the subcontinent playing for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Coulter-Nile has a long history of injury but is currently fully fit having played in T20 internationals against India and South Africa, a complete season with Perth Scorchers in the BBL and one-day matches in India and the UAE. The right-armer did suffer from bouts of vertigo in the BBL in February but that affliction does not appear to have returned in his time with the national team.
Andrew Tye, Billy Stanlake and Peter Siddle
The trio have been in and around Australia's limited-overs sides this summer but haven't nailed a spot. All three quicks are fit, with Tye and Stanlake competing in the IPL, while Siddle will play for Essex in the County Championship as he pushes for World Cup and Ashes selection.
Australia's World Cup fixtures
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE