Hazlewood to return when second Test begins
Josh Hazlewood gets the nod over Mitchell Starc for final fast-bowling berth, as coach Justin Langer confirms James Pattinson was consulted over his omission
Sam Ferris in London
15 August 2019, 03:35 AM AEST
While there was no action at Lord's on Wednesday due to frustrating rain, Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed Josh Hazlewood will play when the second Test does get underway.
As both sides prepared for a delayed toss at 3:30pm local time that would come agonisingly close to being flipped before untimely showers returned, Hazlewood was seen warming up with his teammates while Mitch Starc, the other fast bowler in contention, remained on the outskirts trying to stay warm dressed in his full team tracksuit.
Langer said Hazlewood's economical bowling style, that has yielded him 164 Test wickets at 27.14, gave him the edge over Starc after the right-armer narrowly missed out on selection for the Ashes series opener to veteran seamer Peter Siddle.
"(Hazlewood) has got an outstanding record," Langer said after play on Wednesday, which was abandoned without a ball bowled.
"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 and 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.
He added: "Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard decision (picking Hazlewood over Starc).
"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."
Hazlewood enters the second Test having collected 3-35 from 15 overs in Australia's three-day tour match in Worcester last week and has now had five weeks and three matches bowling exclusively with the red Dukes ball to prepare for his Ashes introduction.
The 28-year-old replaces James Pattinson as the only change to the XI that spectacularly bounced back from an early stutter to win the first Test at Edgbaston by 251 runs.
Pattinson has been put on ice and is now targeting a comeback for the third Test at Headingley as he eases back into international cricket after three-and-a-half years on the sidelines with injury.
With the final four Tests of the Ashes scheduled in two blocks of back-to-back Tests, separated by a three-day tour match in Derby, Langer said Pattinson playing consecutive matches is not part of Australia's plan for the Victorian.
"I think it’s been important for (Pattinson) in his return to cricket, I think in the past he’s felt a bit that he had to play and had to play and had to push and had to push and, in those instances, he usually broke at some point," Langer said.
"It was really good collaboration between the two of us, that was our deal in Hampshire when we talked about what his progress would be … so he’s fine.
"He was a little bit stiff after bowling on Monday morning (at training).
"We knew he would only bowl one of the two back-to-back games, and whilst he’s had eight or nine days (rest), we knew he couldn’t play back-to-back Test matches.
"We just felt that having pulled up a little stiff after bowling and we thought it would be common sense to keep getting himself hungry and prepared for the third Test."
With no toss, England's XI is also under wraps, however it is clear paceman Jofra Archer will play.
The 24-year-old was presented his Test cap by close friend and England international Chris Jordan out in the middle of Lord's moments before the rain returned.
The rest of England's XI is less clear, but left-arm spinner Jack Leach was seen bowling on the same wicket square where he scored 92 in a player-of-the-match performance against Ireland last month.
Leach and Archer are expected to be the only changes for England after James Anderson was ruled out with injury while Moeen Ali was dropped.
Play will start at 11am local time (8pm AEST) on Thursday, with play to be extended at the end of the day to make up for the time lost on day one.
2019 Qantas Ashes Tour of England
Australia squad: Tim Paine (c), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.
England squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes (vc), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.
First Test: Australia beat England by 251 runs at Edgbaston
Second Test: August 14-18,Lord's
Third Test: August 22-26, Headingley
Tour match: Australians v Derbyshire, August 29-31
Fourth Test: September 4-8, Old Trafford
Fifth Test: September 12-16, The Oval