South Africa in Australia, 2012-13 November 5, 2012

Hazlewood replaces Cummins in squad


Pat Cummins' loss is Josh Hazlewood's gain. The back stress fracture that will keep Cummins out of the home summer has in turn elevated Hazlewood to Australia's mandatory five-man pace battery ahead of the Gabba Test against South Africa, and may yet see him make his debut in Perth.

Already in Brisbane for New South Wales' Sheffield Shield match against Queensland, Hazlewood was told to remain in town instead of flying home with the rest of the Blues' non-Test players on Sunday evening.

Australia's hierarchy have been keen to have five fast bowlers on hand at each Test match this summer, not only in case of injury but also to allow the youngest paceman the chance to learn from the others. The national coach Mickey Arthur said Hazlewood's presence emulated Mitchell Starc's in-squad education last summer.

"It could be [that he plays] at some point in the series," Arthur said. "The theory around Josh is exactly what we did last year with Mitchell Starc. We thought that was a real good case study. Mitchell Starc was around us, he was ready to go when we needed him. Josh is very much in that role. Josh will be with us until the end of day one.

"We see a very bright future for Josh. We want Josh to feel what it's like around the Australian cricket set-up. We want him to train with us. We want him to feel the intensity and feel the build-up, so hopefully when he comes into the environment he knows what to expect and is ready to go from the first time we pick him."

Though his week with the squad in Brisbane is likely to be largely developmental in purpose, Hazlewood is likely to play for NSW in their Shield encounter with Victoria in Sydney from November 13 to 16, and may then be a chance to debut for Australia in the third Test against South Africa in Perth.

Hazlewood's probable schedule was that originally intended for Cummins, mapped out some weeks ago before the glut of Twenty20 matches for country and club that ended with the 19-year-old nursing a major injury in November for the second time in as many summers.

First glimpsed in Australian colours in 2010 when he played a single ODI against England at Southampton as a teenager, Hazlewood has wrestled with a series of injuries since, but at 21 appears to be maturing into the sort of dependable seam and bounce merchant who could balance the speed of James Pattinson and the swing of Mitchell Starc in a future bowling attack.

He was consistently the most impressive Sydney Sixers bowler during the Champions League, plucking seven wickets at 16.17 while conceding a miserly 4.70 run an over.

Daniel Brettig and Brydon Coverdale are assistant editors at ESPNcricinfo.

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  • rob on November 8, 2012, 3:26 GMT

    @ HatsforBats on (November 05 2012, 04:50 AM GMT) : That is as good an explanation of this mystifying move that I am going to see I think. It makes perfect sense when you look at it that way actually.

    Ps. I hope he goes well if he gets a chance because I played cricket with and against his dad who was a fine cricketer and one of natures gentlemen to boot.

  • Roo on November 7, 2012, 7:14 GMT

    Upon reflection, Halzewood being the 2nd spare bowler is here at the Gabba just to get time around the team - wonder if NC-N will get the same treatment in Perth? or Bird, et al in Hobart? or McDonald et al in Melbourne?... Then this will make some sense...

  • Roo on November 7, 2012, 7:13 GMT

    Seems schools out with some of the comments... NSW has 34.5% of Oz's population, Tassie has 2.2% of Oz pop. yet Tassie has 3 out of 11 players = 27% (born & trained - Punter, Hilfy, Wade) to NSW's 4 of 11 = 36%... This obviously changes a bit with players coming in & out of the team... Seems NSW has a very fair proportion of the players - though why is it that some who profess to live in another State (especially if you are a Qlder) get so pro-NSW vocal every time this NSW issue comes up is really quite amusing...

  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2012, 11:56 GMT

    NSW produces better players, get over it everyone. Bradman, Mcgrath, Simpson, Waugh, Benaud, O'reilly, Taylor and then we continue on to the players that had to move out of NSW just to get a consistent game, Border, Bevan and gilchrist! Victoria's done well with test players recently, White, Holland and Quiney will be the same one hit wonder

  • Basil on November 6, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    @Jono Makin, well lets pick him after his stats (ie results) come up to scratch, and not insult the other 15 bowlers that are better than him.

  • Dummy4 on November 6, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    To those wondering about his inclusion in the setup (something quite different to actually playing).. have you seen the guy bowl lately? Tall, bouncy 135kmph+, nips it around and is very accurate. Its only a matter of time before his stats come up to scratch. I'm sure many of us were all thinking the same of Pattinson and Starc 18 months ago... Look at thier development in that period. Hazlewood is the McGrath type the Aussie attack has been desperately lacking. I'd love to see him play in Perth, better bowler than Cummins i'd say.

  • Andrew on November 6, 2012, 5:58 GMT

    @TheFang on (November 06 2012, 02:27 AM GMT) - btw, Khawaja's career FC record was around 50 when he got selected for Oz, Warner's was almost 60. Steve Smith's ave was around 50 as well.

  • Andrew on November 6, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    @TheFang on (November 06 2012, 02:27 AM GMT) - you bag Warner's selection, yet name an Ozzy batsmen with better credentials who has NOT been selected for Oz since Warner started playing FC cricket?? You can't - there was NONE! There is no pro-NSW conspiracy - just a bunch of insecure whingers with nothing beter to do! The only state that has any justifiable gripe is QLD, who has not had a Test cricketer since Ryan Harris (technically Sth Ozzy) or really since MJ, & no batsmen selected since Shane Watson.

  • Andrew on November 6, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Players I have classified as Test failures are 1. Young, 2. PWilson, 3. B Williams, 4. Tait, 5. Cullen, 6. Rogers, 7. Casson*, 8. White, 9. krezja, 10. Hughes*, 11. North*, 12. McGain, 13. SSmith*, 14. Doherty*, 15. Beer*, 16. Khawaja*, 17. Marsh. I have left * next to players that either could turn their career around or I felt was harsh to label. It's been 12mths since I did the analyisis - so I have no debutants since S Marsh. So I would say it is quite clear - that whilst NSW have had the most debutants, they have a good success rate & therefor no bias. We should look more at the WA/Tas bias as they are the most unproductive producers of Baggy Green careers! QLD, NSW & then SA, have the best success rates. IF Hughes is a "dim-bulb" - what does that say of our Shield bowlers who have been hammered by him for about 5 years? Marsh is labelled "average"? He has been woeful, arguably the worst credentialled batsmen to represent Oz in 25yrs! His scores were like binary code against India

  • Andrew on November 6, 2012, 5:34 GMT

    @TheFang on (November 06 2012, 02:29 AM GMT) - what a load of garbage! Please explain how there is a NSW bias when there hasn't been a NSW selector (apart from Clarke recently) in ages. The best State for "successful" converts to the Baggy Green is QLD - all other states have more than their fair share of failures. I did some work on this of the 51 debutants from Young to S Marsh. In my opinion, there has been 16 "failures" (cricketers far better than you or I but just haven't made it in Tests - yet) since S Young. NSW has 31% of the dubutants since then & of which 25% of the failures (which is the 2nd best "conversion rate behind QLD) - QLD has had 16% of debutants - no failures, I consider Scotty Muller to not be a failure - he had a S/R of 49.7 & Adam Dale - he had an ave of 31. The worst states are Tas & WA with a 50% failure rate. This is a slightly subjective comment - but I will give some detail! TBC

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