Qantas Tour of England - ODIs
Inexperienced Aussies embark on UK mission
Australia's fast-bowling attack in England will be one of their least experienced since the start of one-day cricket
31 May 2018, 04:49 PM AEST
Australia will unveil one of their least experienced fast-bowling attacks since the start of one-day cricket in the early 1970s when they take on world No.1 England at The Oval in a fortnight.
The magnitude of the task facing Justin Langer's revamped side in the UK was laid bare on Monday by the last-minute withdrawal of Josh Hazlewood, who joined fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins in being ruled out of the tour due to injury.
Hazlewood's absence means Kane Richardson is clearly the most experienced of the five fast bowlers Langer and new captain Tim Paine will have at their disposal for the five-match series, the right-armer having played 15 ODIs since his debut in 2013, including just three in the past two years.
The other four pacemen in the squad - Andrew Tye (four matches), Billy Stanlake (two), Jhye Richardson (one) and Hazlewood's replacement Michael Neser (yet to debut) - have just seven games of experience between them.
The more-experienced Richardson would be expected to play the series opener at The Oval on June 13, but if he's to be ruled out due to fitness or selection, Australia will be left with one of their rawest pace attacks since the genesis of the limited-overs game more than 40 years ago.
Australia haven't embarked on a one-day campaign without at least one of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins since the infamous 2016 tour of South Africa, when the former duo were rested and the latter was slowly making his return to cricket following a serious back injury.
Australia picked three uncapped quicks for that series - Joe Mennie, Daniel Worrall and Chris Tremain - but still had the relatively experienced duo of John Hastings (23 ODIs before that tour) and Scott Boland (10) to offer support.
Even when Hastings sat out the final match of a series that ended in a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the hosts, the pace trio of Boland, Tremain and Mennie (a total of 18 games played) were relative veterans compared to the attack that could be rolled out at The Oval.
And that 2016 side also featured pace-bowling allrounder Mitchell Marsh, who had played 37 ODIs before the series began, but who will miss the England campaign due to recent ankle surgery.
The South African tour represented the first time in more than 30 years that the Aussies had blooded three new quicks in the same one-day series, with the previous instance coming in 1986 at a time of uncertainty and upheaval that - until the recent ball-tampering saga - had stood alongside the World Series Cricket split as the most turbulent period in Australia's post-war history.
On that occasion, a match against New Zealand at the MCG at the start of a one-day tri-series that also featured India, Australia employed a frontline pace attack including debutants Bruce Reid, Simon Davis and Dave Gilbert as well as a previously uncapped allrounder from New South Wales by the name of Stephen Waugh.
But that group of pace debutants were given valuable support from 20-year-old spearhead Craig McDermott, who had impressed in taking 28 wickets in the 17 ODIs he'd played over the previous 12 months.
Perhaps in a good omen for the current side, five members of the XI that played NZ at the MCG - including McDermott, Reid and Waugh - were also part of the side that won the World Cup final the following year, an achievement Langer's group will be looking to replicate when they begin their own Cup campaign 12 months from now.
The 1986 trio of Reid, Gilbert and Davis was the first instance in almost eight years of Australia fielding three pace-bowling debutants in the same one-day international.
The previous occasion came in the first match of a two-and-a-half month tour of the Caribbean in 1978, when an Australian side whose playing stocks had been ravaged by the Packer revolution took to the field for an ODI in Antigua with a four-man pace attack that included debutants Wayne Clark, Ian Callen and Trevor Laughlin.
And who were supported by firebrand Jeff Thomson, in his fifth season of international cricket but - due to the paucity of one-day international cricket played at the time - had just eight ODIs to his name.
Australia fielded a total of nine debutants in that match, but it was one of the home side's first gamers - young opener Desmond Haynes - who made the biggest impression by finding the boundary 16 times and going over it twice in compiling 148 from just 136 balls.
Over the coming weeks, the current Australian side and its inexperienced pace attack will confront a task that's arguably more daunting than taking on Haynes in full flow.
The top-ranked England team have won nine of their past 10 bilateral ODI series, including a 4-1 thrashing of an Australian side that featured Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins earlier this year, and boast the likes of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales and Jason Roy in their top six.
But skipper Eoin Morgan, who himself averages more than 40 with the bat against Australia, has warned his rampant side to be wary of an opponent damaged by the recent upheaval.
"I think they will be ready, and with one eye on the World Cup they will come with a strong performance," Morgan said this week.
"What's happened to them in the last six months has the potential to galvanise a young, hungry side.
"So we're going to have bring our A game to this series. And again it's going to be a good challenge for us moving forward."
Qantas tours of England and Zimbabwe
ODI squad: Tim Paine (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Travis Head, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye
T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Travis Head, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Andrew Tye, Jack Wildermuth
Qantas Tour of England
June 7: Warm-up v Sussex, Hove (D/N)
June 9: Warm-up v Middlesex, Lord's
June 13: First ODI, The Oval (D/N)
June 16: Second ODI, Cardiff
June 19: Third ODI, Trent Bridge (D/N)
June 21: Fourth ODI, Durham (D/N)
June 24: Fifth ODI, Old Trafford
June 27: Only T20, Edgbaston (D/N)
Qantas T20I tri-series Tour of Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 1: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Monday, July 2: Pakistan vs Australia
Tuesday, July 3: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Wednesday, July 4: Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
Thursday, July 5: Pakistan vs Australia
Friday, July 6: Australia vs Zimbabwe
Sunday, July 8: Final