Australia news October 10, 2013

Australia's fast eight for Ashes

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Australia's selectors have identified eight fast bowlers in line for Ashes duty during the summer and told their states to prepare them accordingly. The bowlers themselves, however, have not been made aware of their status as the men most likely to share the new ball against England in the five Tests, starting in Brisbane on November 19.

The team performance manager Pat Howard outlined the preparation of a rolling barrage of fast men for the series as he mapped out plans for the home Ashes series, an encounter that may cost him his job should Australia suffer another defeat. The concept of having eight fast bowlers identified, fit and ready for Test matches throughout the series is an upgrade from the five Howard and the former coach Mickey Arthur kept on hand at each Test last summer.

"We'll have eight bowlers available for every Test and these eight bowlers have already been communicated to the states," Howard said. "They know who the watchlist is, they know their bowling loads every single day, it sits on Darren's [Lehmann] desk, they're known. We've said to the states as well that doesn't mean if you have a cracker of a lead-up you won't be considered. There's always that pool for the selectors to call on and make informed decisions."

Given the injury-enforced absence of three Ashes tourists in James Pattinson, Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins now being on a far less rushed plan to bring him back into the international game after letting his body mature, the pace bowling options available are strong but not limitless.

Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson are towards the top of the likely list, while Ben Hilfenhaus remains Cricket Australia contracted and Josh Hazlewood is making decent strides for New South Wales and Australia in limited-overs formats.

Nathan Coulter-Nile, Clint McKay and Chadd Sayers are the others expected to be under consideration, having all played for Australia or Australia A in recent times. Others around the team include James Faulkner, who is considered an allrounder and more likely to be part of a five-man attack if chosen.

Howard stated that the official selection policy for the Ashes would be to choose the best XI at all times, fitness permitting, while striking a balance between rewarding performance and making the occasional selection hunch. The coach Darren Lehmann defended the decision to gamble on the teenage left-arm spinner Ashton Agar ahead of Nathan Lyon in the first two Tests in England, claiming performance had been a factor.

"Where you're playing and who you're playing is the key to that," Lehmann said. "We're still performance based, and the Agar selection was done on a lot of right-handers, and he bowled better than Nathan on the A tour. You can't just go on his performances in the last Test match which was four months before that, it was how he was bowling at the time."

Agar is now setting out on the season with the ambition of growing into an allrounder's commission, and opened the batting for the Perth Scorchers on their recent Twenty20 Champions League expedition to India.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VillageBlacksmith on October 12, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    8 eh?? is that all??? that doesn't really say much about the confidence in or the form of or durability of the current crop of aussie bowlers does it... more foot in mouth from CA... im still laughing about patto going to ''do it for his brother'', what did he get 0-100?? and clarko saying ''we're going to have a red hot crack''... and now its EIGHT 'fast' bowlers!! its great stuff...

  • landl47 on October 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    8 seam bowlers (we'll leave the debate over 'fast' to another time). Seriously? West Indies in their prime didn't have 8 test caliber seam bowlers. South Africa and England certainly don't and both have beaten Australia recently. If England only needs 5 plus the allrounder Stokes for a tour, why would Australia need 8 plus the allrounder Faulkner for a home series?

    Basically I think this sends the wrong message. It says we only have a couple (Harris and Siddle) of seamers we think are real test players, so get the lesser bowlers ready and we'll try to make do with them. Really, Aus only needs 5; one to be the third seamer in a 4 (or 5 if Faulkner is selected) man attack and two to cover for injuries.

    If the selectors can't identify their best 5, then putting together a list of 8 isn't likely to make the quality any better.

  • cricket_ahan on October 12, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Starc is still young and learning. He has immense talent, and has been rated highly by many past greats of the game, including Wasim Akram. He will leak some runs at the moment, but then he will also take wickets. He needs time to mature. Don't think they should bring Hilfy back... had his time. Regardless of all that though, what CA need to do is get these guys used to bowling more and more overs. Why are fast bowlers in other teams not breaking down this much - there must be something they are doing (or not doing) which is yielding this result? Not playing stupid one-day series like the current one in India might be a good start.

  • on October 12, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    so all the nsw bowlers get a game, when does sandhu get a game, for years dirk nannes one of the best in the world cant get a game, our batting problems are there to see and most of the top order is from nsw what no one else makes runs from anywere else, klinger has been making runs for years cant get game yet hughes rubbish technique gets a game

  • Shaggy076 on October 12, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    There is still plenty of bowling depth, however I would have Cutting, Putland and Bollinger before Mckay.

  • on October 11, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    This story is exactly what is wrong with Australian Cricket.

    It is almost six weeks until the 1st Test and the useless Australian Selectors have already chosen their 8 bowlers for the season.

    Over the next six weeks the Ryobi Cup will conclude and many states will have played at least two Sheffield Shield Matches. Some of these matches will have teams that could challenge the Australian Test Team (Tas vs Qld). (From what I have heard Floros [3-wickets], Hauritz [10-2-19-2] and Ben Cutting [7-2-8-2] bowled brilliantly yesterday).

    It appears that the efforts of any current or emerging bowler will be totally ignored, which is absolutely ridiculous.

    While some commenters ask where is Cutting and McDermott .... I was asking where were they, two mainstay bowlers who almost took Queensland to consecutive Sheffield Shields, when the Australia A Team was selected on the recent Africa Tour. Meanwhile Sayers on took 3-wickets on the tour.

    Australian Selectors are fools!!!

  • cricketsubh on October 11, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    no hezalwood he is not ready for test sry to said that pick sandu he is strong and agresive and can bowl fast i think cummis can play this ashes his injury is not that bad .

  • cricketsubh on October 11, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    praspunter .you need to take this series seriousy for the 2 rigins 1st australia as a team not wining any thing for last 7 month 2nd aus need some get their confident go to a series confident in any sports win gives u confident if u only care for the ashes then it will be a big mistake look what happen in ct2013 at that time aus already thinking about ashes every one know what happen after aus lose 3-0.same think happen in india when thet tour in 2010 they lose 2-0 and lose to srilanka in odi series and go to ashes no wins at all and lose the home ashes 3-1.australia need to learn from their mistake to get back to the top of the world.whats your 1st test team

  • PutMarshyOn on October 11, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Starc bowled well at times in the Ashes. In the last game he regularly hit 145kph + and made good players hop around on a track in the late stages of fossilisation. To lose both him & Pattinson is a kick in the teeth. How many tests are we likely to get out of Harris? It doesn't seem too far-fetched to imagine we end up with a core attack of MJ, Siddle, & BH. Deja vu, all over again.

  • on October 11, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I hope that the conjecture is off and Cutting (or Sandhu) is ahead of Hilfenhaus. Hilfy is yesterday's man. And he wasn't that great yesterday either.

  • VillageBlacksmith on October 12, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    8 eh?? is that all??? that doesn't really say much about the confidence in or the form of or durability of the current crop of aussie bowlers does it... more foot in mouth from CA... im still laughing about patto going to ''do it for his brother'', what did he get 0-100?? and clarko saying ''we're going to have a red hot crack''... and now its EIGHT 'fast' bowlers!! its great stuff...

  • landl47 on October 12, 2013, 5:20 GMT

    8 seam bowlers (we'll leave the debate over 'fast' to another time). Seriously? West Indies in their prime didn't have 8 test caliber seam bowlers. South Africa and England certainly don't and both have beaten Australia recently. If England only needs 5 plus the allrounder Stokes for a tour, why would Australia need 8 plus the allrounder Faulkner for a home series?

    Basically I think this sends the wrong message. It says we only have a couple (Harris and Siddle) of seamers we think are real test players, so get the lesser bowlers ready and we'll try to make do with them. Really, Aus only needs 5; one to be the third seamer in a 4 (or 5 if Faulkner is selected) man attack and two to cover for injuries.

    If the selectors can't identify their best 5, then putting together a list of 8 isn't likely to make the quality any better.

  • cricket_ahan on October 12, 2013, 4:06 GMT

    Starc is still young and learning. He has immense talent, and has been rated highly by many past greats of the game, including Wasim Akram. He will leak some runs at the moment, but then he will also take wickets. He needs time to mature. Don't think they should bring Hilfy back... had his time. Regardless of all that though, what CA need to do is get these guys used to bowling more and more overs. Why are fast bowlers in other teams not breaking down this much - there must be something they are doing (or not doing) which is yielding this result? Not playing stupid one-day series like the current one in India might be a good start.

  • on October 12, 2013, 3:03 GMT

    so all the nsw bowlers get a game, when does sandhu get a game, for years dirk nannes one of the best in the world cant get a game, our batting problems are there to see and most of the top order is from nsw what no one else makes runs from anywere else, klinger has been making runs for years cant get game yet hughes rubbish technique gets a game

  • Shaggy076 on October 12, 2013, 2:55 GMT

    There is still plenty of bowling depth, however I would have Cutting, Putland and Bollinger before Mckay.

  • on October 11, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    This story is exactly what is wrong with Australian Cricket.

    It is almost six weeks until the 1st Test and the useless Australian Selectors have already chosen their 8 bowlers for the season.

    Over the next six weeks the Ryobi Cup will conclude and many states will have played at least two Sheffield Shield Matches. Some of these matches will have teams that could challenge the Australian Test Team (Tas vs Qld). (From what I have heard Floros [3-wickets], Hauritz [10-2-19-2] and Ben Cutting [7-2-8-2] bowled brilliantly yesterday).

    It appears that the efforts of any current or emerging bowler will be totally ignored, which is absolutely ridiculous.

    While some commenters ask where is Cutting and McDermott .... I was asking where were they, two mainstay bowlers who almost took Queensland to consecutive Sheffield Shields, when the Australia A Team was selected on the recent Africa Tour. Meanwhile Sayers on took 3-wickets on the tour.

    Australian Selectors are fools!!!

  • cricketsubh on October 11, 2013, 12:54 GMT

    no hezalwood he is not ready for test sry to said that pick sandu he is strong and agresive and can bowl fast i think cummis can play this ashes his injury is not that bad .

  • cricketsubh on October 11, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    praspunter .you need to take this series seriousy for the 2 rigins 1st australia as a team not wining any thing for last 7 month 2nd aus need some get their confident go to a series confident in any sports win gives u confident if u only care for the ashes then it will be a big mistake look what happen in ct2013 at that time aus already thinking about ashes every one know what happen after aus lose 3-0.same think happen in india when thet tour in 2010 they lose 2-0 and lose to srilanka in odi series and go to ashes no wins at all and lose the home ashes 3-1.australia need to learn from their mistake to get back to the top of the world.whats your 1st test team

  • PutMarshyOn on October 11, 2013, 8:43 GMT

    Starc bowled well at times in the Ashes. In the last game he regularly hit 145kph + and made good players hop around on a track in the late stages of fossilisation. To lose both him & Pattinson is a kick in the teeth. How many tests are we likely to get out of Harris? It doesn't seem too far-fetched to imagine we end up with a core attack of MJ, Siddle, & BH. Deja vu, all over again.

  • on October 11, 2013, 8:29 GMT

    I hope that the conjecture is off and Cutting (or Sandhu) is ahead of Hilfenhaus. Hilfy is yesterday's man. And he wasn't that great yesterday either.

  • PYC1959 on October 11, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Sounds like the old rotation policy is back at work again.............. What absolute rubbish, if you wrap them up in cotton wool and don't let them bowl then yes they will break down as they have been ever since this rotation policy was introduced. These guys are over trained, no body fat allowed to protect their bodies, Lucky Merv Hughes,Lillie, Thommo etc were all born when they were otherwise we may never have seen them bowl..........................

  • AKS286 on October 11, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    About Starc- He is a poor bowler and favoured and overrated by clarke and nothing else. Bird, Mcdermott, Coulter Nile are far far better than Starc. Bird is a test material and a asset as well as long race horse. Cummins one 7 wicket haul make him hero.. Why ? just a bloke of one match, even De Lange destroyed SL but don't receive this kind of hype. @ Wefinishthis Fella how you compare with Steyn, Phil they belongs & made SA no.1 while your bowlers are giving very tough challenge to Bangladesh. NZ pace bowling very promising !

  • on October 11, 2013, 5:57 GMT

    Mitchell Starc keeps being bagged for his stats.

    12 23 2450 1378 41 6/154 8/209 33.60 3.37 59.7 0 2 0

    These are pretty good for the current crop of players. If you want a player to bowl a Test line, you need to play him in a Test type game, First Class cricket. Not the constant ODI and T20 garbage.

  • PrasPunter on October 11, 2013, 4:57 GMT

    @!cricketsubh , we don't really care about whats going on in india. Not sure if these ODIs are going to be remembered come November 21. It counts for nothing !!

  • ShutTheGate on October 11, 2013, 4:40 GMT

    @ Rodstark - you don't have much choice to put forward names when you have four test bowlers injured. Imagine if Bresnan, Broad, Anderson and Finn were all injured!

    Our depth in bowling is much better now than it was back in 10/11 ashes series when the Aussies relied in Mitchell Johnson to play a good game in order to put pressure on England.

    Even if Mitch does play in the ashes at least this time he'll be an impact bowler with Ryno and Siddle able to keep an end tight to build pressure.

    It's interesting that Hilfenhaus is being considered. He was the leading wicket taker from both sides in the 09 ashes series but that was a long time ago.

  • Wefinishthis on October 11, 2013, 4:28 GMT

    Completely agree VivGilchrist - Why Starc gets favourtism over Sayers when he has been more useless than Johnson continues to baffle me. He averages well over 30 in the shield and then we expected him to do better in tests? There's a reason he's averaging over 30 in tests as well and it's because he's not good enough for us to get back to no.1. Same reason why Doherty and Agar were given a chance ahead of O'Keefe. Nonsense. My 8 fast bowlers on the watch list would be: Harris, Pattinson, Bird, Faulkner, Siddle, Sayers, Cummins, Sandhu. Depending on conditions, I'd consider Johnson again in Perth. We need to start picking bowlers with the lowest averages like South Africa did when they found Steyn and Philander and look how they've turned out. It's time they selectors started looking at shield stats.

  • on October 11, 2013, 2:04 GMT

    I would not rate Johnson in the top of the likely list. Bowling average around 38 in tests in the last three years does not look that great. Think it's time to persist with younger players. Chadd Sayers looks like a gunn! Want to see him play in the first test!

  • cricketsubh on October 11, 2013, 2:03 GMT

    the odi tour of india is going but aussi talk about ashes no talk about this tour.

  • IndianInnerEdge on October 11, 2013, 0:42 GMT

    At least the cricket boad of Aus has a plan in place! The first step for solving a problem is recognising there is a problem. They recognise that the quickies workload management is definately an issue and are taking positive steps to remedy this, weather that translates into a home ashes victroy or not-only time will tell. Compare this to India-we would struggle to name 4 test class quickies (by quckies-bowlers who fling it 140 kmph upwards, not the dibbly dobbly medium pacers of 130 kmph dominating the indian scene nowadays). The biggest favour india couild to budding pacers like yadav, ishant, kumar et all is straightaway appoint craig Mcdermet-look at the way he shaped the aus attack in 2011 - 2012, the way he gave confidense to hilfy, siddle etc, practiced the values of pitching it up, the BCCI would do well to appoint him the bowling coach.

  • RodStark on October 11, 2013, 0:23 GMT

    I must say as an England supporter that if you could keep a healthy Harris, a non-tired Siddle, and an accurate Johnson playing together throughout the series, you would at least be equal to what England can put on the field.

    That said, it's amazing how many names Australian supporters put forward at the moment. It must truly be a sign of weakness rather than strength in depth. Very much like England in the 90s.

  • silly_mid_on on October 10, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    At least Australia don't have a tailender batting at number 4.

  • left_arm_unorthodox on October 10, 2013, 22:43 GMT

    McKay is a great ODI bowler (87 wkts in 50 games at 22.1) but I'm not sure he's got the penetration to be a test bowler. And I say that as a VIC supporter. But where is Trent Copeland? Doug Bollinger? I reckon there's a bit of Roulette wheel about this.

  • on October 10, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    @ Vigneshwaran, I too surprised of not mentioning of these three bowlers name any where in this news. For me these three are the future of Australian fast bowling. Unfortunately all are injury prone and might be still be in rehabilitation phase. These three must be preserve as good fast bowling on the whole is declining now a days. They must be banned from all kind of T20 leagues.

  • on October 10, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    this 'chopping and changing' selection process MUST STOP! select the BEST POSSIBLE TEAM,not those who simply have Cricket Australia contracts

  • VivGilchrist on October 10, 2013, 21:19 GMT

    All I ask people is that before you comment on an article it may be best to read it first. Also please check out Sayers record and have consideration that he bowls every second game on the Adelaide Oval pitch. He is a gun. To see guys with FC averages over 30 (Starc) getting chosen over him is a bit unjust.

  • Biggus on October 10, 2013, 21:00 GMT

    @gsingh7:-Yep we Aussies wish we had the long and glorious tradition of producing fast bowlers that India has but we'll just have to get along with what we have. People in glass houses really shouldn't throw stones.

  • Beertjie on October 10, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    We were told (not so long ago) that Bird didn't have a stress fracture so why is he not mentioned of late? I'm questioning the appropriate application of the phrase " the injury-enforced absence " to him! It had seemed Pattinson would return later than he, so what gives?

  • hhillbumper on October 10, 2013, 17:28 GMT

    @ Cameron Allen. Yep.England would love bowlers like yours. All our ones do is win test matches whereas your ones are far more effective.We wish we could have your batting line up as well.Just that security of a Watson or Hughes must be lovely to have.Guess we will have to make do with Kp and Bell.God I envy your p;ayers so much. We never seem to have as much talent as you that must be why we keep losing all the time.

  • on October 10, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    It's not how quick you are. It's where you put it that matters.

  • gsingh7 on October 10, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    fast 16 or super 8 whatever u call them will not fare better than last 2 series in which aus lost 7 won 0. hope these fast 8 dont be labelled mediocre,beaten 8 after few more series.

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on October 10, 2013, 14:35 GMT

    @Mitty2: YES, look at that mate! Clint McKay in contention! I still say he would have been better here in UK conditions, but I'd still rather have him holding an end down in pretty much any test series than many of the other pace-obsessed fragile short-spell specialists that were supposed to tear England apart in the last Ashes.

  • on October 10, 2013, 14:26 GMT

    @Cameron Allen - Is it really? Anderson, Broad, Finn, Rankin, Tremlett, Jordan, Bresnan (if fit), Meaker, Stokes, Topley. Seems both teams have a wealth of fast bowling options even if England have left Onions and Woakes at home. An Australian attack of Harris, Siddle, Johnson, Watson and Lyon looks no more impressive than an England attack of Anderson, Broad, Rankin, Finn and Swann. If it's felt that with Johnson, Australia has a 90mph+ advantage, England can always call on Chris Jordan who topped 94.5 mph in the last ODI. With no less than four quicks towering at over 6' 6", England have a decided advantage there, so your statement that "It's still 6 more fast bowlers than England have!" is just plain ludicrous.

  • hhillbumper on October 10, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Someone in Cricket Australia has found the hyperbole section. We are already running a book on how many of these 8 will end up on the Sick list. The real question to be asked is where would Aus be without Harris?

  • Nerk on October 10, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    What is more curious is the way the selectors keep going from "we are not telling anybody anything" to "we are telling everyone everything." Personally, I don't care what Pat Howard thinks, or Watson's baggage handler or Clarke's car washer for that matter. All I care about is that Australia wins. For that to happen, Harris is top of the list. Then Siddle, who I was very happy to see step up and take the new ball. Third place up for grabs. Why people want MJ is beyond me. He is not the best left arm quick in the country, he is not even the best left arm quick named Mitchell.

  • Munkeymomo on October 10, 2013, 14:00 GMT

    @Cameron Allen: Unless we count them in terms of how fit they are. In which case each bowler counts as 1/8th. Therefore they have 1 less fast bowler than England.

  • on October 10, 2013, 13:27 GMT

    It's still 6 more fast bowlers than England have!

  • on October 10, 2013, 13:01 GMT

    What happened to James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins?

  • Green_and_Gold on October 10, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    What happened to Hilfy - he killed it in the Ind series (played in Aus) but then seemed to disappear. I know that He and Sids bowled fantastic when Mcdermott was around.

  • AKS286 on October 10, 2013, 12:34 GMT

    Thanks to Lehmann that Johnson still the no.3 but not selected in big tournament like Ashes. Johnson is the no. 2 spearhead of Aus in all format. Hilfy is also ignored by Clarke as Johnson. I really thanks to Lehmann because he boost seniors who are one by one axed by Clarke. The top 8 are in which format?- Because except of Siddle Harris & Johnson In & Out and rest are never selected for tests. Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Hilfy, Coulter Nile, Bird,Pattinson, Mcdermott, Sayers, Hasting,Mckay, Cutting, Faulkner, Laughlin, Hazelwood, Herrick, Copeland, Gulbis, Cummins, Bollinger, George, Starc, Sandhu, Richardson, Tremain, Duffield, Behrendroff, Gannon , etc are in the line.

  • HowdyRowdy on October 10, 2013, 12:17 GMT

    'Eight horseman of the apocalypse': more accurately described as three front line Test quicks, plus five either discarded on merit, or young guys with potential, but untried at Test level.

    Unfortunately injury has smashed Australia's depth in genuinely hostile Test fast bowlers, taking away what could have been one potential advantage for the Aussies compared with England. If Ryan Harris breaks down and/or Peter Siddle can't bounce back from his gruelling recent schedule, the fast bowling advantage will shift to England.

  • HatsforBats on October 10, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    Fingers crossed Harris remains injury free and Johnson bowls straight, otherwise that list is looking quite thin with a bunch of debutantes & journeymen. Johnson looked brilliant at times in the England odi's, much more consistent with his accuracy & swing from his new run up, and still quick. From that list I'd pencil him in no worries.

  • emceedrive on October 10, 2013, 12:15 GMT

    No idea why Hilfenhaus attracts so much hate. The guy averages 28 with the ball, at a good strike rate, with a rather restrictive economy rate. What else do you want from him? He takes 4 or more wickets once every 5 innings, which isn't bad when you think about a combination of being able to change a game and being consistently among the wickets.

    That said, I think a first choice attack (given the injuries) should be Harris, Siddle, and Johnson. Say what you will about Johnson, but he gives you a chance to run through a side. Throw in Watson and I think the Aussies will have a solid pace attack; probably the only department they will have any sizable advantage in. Obviously the spin department isn't as strong as England's, and the less said about the current batting group the better. I do think Khawaja is being given the bare minimum to be able to say they gave him a run though. Give him 4 tests in the lineup without moving his spot in the order. Not like Oz can really do worse.

  • on October 10, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    What about Alistair McDermott? Difficult to judge statistically however - the bowling-friendly pitches in Shield cricket over the past few years are infamous. Probably a 25 average for an Aussie bowler is the equivalent of 32ish for an Englishmen; conversely a 38 average for a batsman is probably more like 45 in English terms. (a completely unscientific estimate! :))

  • tpjpower on October 10, 2013, 12:08 GMT

    Where is Cutting? Definitely better than Sayers & Hazlewood.

  • on October 10, 2013, 11:58 GMT

    Gurinder Sandhu should be in there! Watch his two brilliant, perfectly pitched off cutters V victoria that almost snatched an unlikely win! (video highlights cricket.com.au). Sayers, Sandhu and Hazlewood should bowl off in the PM's XI game to be the next cab off the rank behind Johnson, Harris, Siddle and Faulkner (no 7 allrounder).

  • 200ondebut on October 10, 2013, 11:13 GMT

    A rolling barrage of medium pacers - frightening!

  • Ms.Cricket on October 10, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Ben Hilfenhaus, Phil Hughes, Aaron Finch - they may fail umpteen times but the selectors love to pick them!

  • on October 10, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    @Matt Tully, this is only a speculative list. I wouldn't be surprised if Cutting was there or thereabouts in the selectors thoughts. I'm not sure why you think he is anymore a test cricketer than Coulter-Nile though? For mine they are very similar bowlers. To be honest I don't really see either of these guys as test bowlers, they both seem far more suited to odi cricket to me. Averaging 25-26 in a competition where the likes of Faulkner and Bird average around 20 says to me they just aren't quite up to the mark, at least not yet.

    I think most of the work will be done by Siddle, Harris and Johnson. I like the look of Hazlewood but I'm not sure that the rest of the guys mentioned in this 8 can make much of an impact, though I have not seen Sayers bowl. If Sayers can swing the ball consistently and make proper use of the new ball consistently then I wouldn't mind seeing him get a run. We really need a couple of young blokes that can use the new nut to full effect.

  • Bonehead_maz on October 10, 2013, 10:47 GMT

    I agree Matt Tully, and I expect the selector's 8 is different to that speculated here !

  • BradmanBestEver on October 10, 2013, 10:38 GMT

    I think it is time for Hazelwood to step into the fray and let's see what he has got

  • on October 10, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    It seems strange to me how the selectors have stopped considering Ben Cutting. He had a pretty decent ODI start but has since dropped off the radar. IMO he offers a very good third seam option and adds considerable batting depth, particularly in tests. If he is bowling well again for Queensland this year, performance should be rewarded as Howard says. Not sure NCN or McKay are really going to grow into test players, Cutting however, will.

  • on October 10, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    xtrafalgarx, i totally agree with you people who dont followthe country's cricket and start writing comments after watching ipl and champions league and say why isn't that playing and why isn't this playing. As far as i am concerned i think from the players available hilfy, siddle, harris, hazlewood. these guys are pretty good. But i am pretty sure they are gonna miss pattinson in Australian conditions. And one thing that i am really hot happy so far and not in the pace department is the selection of o-keefe. i dont know if they are picking him for the return ashes but i really hope he gets a spot

  • mukkit on October 10, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Did you blokes read the article?....Bird, Starc and Pattinson are presently injured.

  • xtrafalgarx on October 10, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    @Sanj Jayatilake, they are injured! Get with the times, no offence but it's annoying when ill informed people come and rant about players not being selected when you don't follow the country's cricket enough to know for your self!

  • AdoSR on October 10, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Um, they did say that Starc, Pattinson, Bird and Cummins are injured.

  • Buckers97 on October 10, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    You guys know they are injured????? Only Pattinson is any chance of playing a part in this ashes series.

  • andrew-schulz on October 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter, you really do need to read these articles before you comment. Bird is listed, along with Pattinson and Starc, as having a long-term injury. And never in an earlier article today did it say that snicko was going to be used in the Ashes.

  • on October 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Please re-read the article! It says "Given the injury-enforced absence of three Ashes tourists in James Pattinson, Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins..." They were mentioned even if you missed it.

  • deeplongon on October 10, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Makes absolutely no sense at all. But with CA I've got pretty used to that.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 10, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    What about Jackson Bird??

  • on October 10, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Starc and Pattinson? Seems a bit odd that those two are not named.

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  • on October 10, 2013, 9:32 GMT

    Starc and Pattinson? Seems a bit odd that those two are not named.

  • Ozcricketwriter on October 10, 2013, 9:34 GMT

    What about Jackson Bird??

  • deeplongon on October 10, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Makes absolutely no sense at all. But with CA I've got pretty used to that.

  • on October 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Please re-read the article! It says "Given the injury-enforced absence of three Ashes tourists in James Pattinson, Jackson Bird and Mitchell Starc, and Pat Cummins..." They were mentioned even if you missed it.

  • andrew-schulz on October 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    Ozcricketwriter, you really do need to read these articles before you comment. Bird is listed, along with Pattinson and Starc, as having a long-term injury. And never in an earlier article today did it say that snicko was going to be used in the Ashes.

  • Buckers97 on October 10, 2013, 9:50 GMT

    You guys know they are injured????? Only Pattinson is any chance of playing a part in this ashes series.

  • AdoSR on October 10, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    Um, they did say that Starc, Pattinson, Bird and Cummins are injured.

  • xtrafalgarx on October 10, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    @Sanj Jayatilake, they are injured! Get with the times, no offence but it's annoying when ill informed people come and rant about players not being selected when you don't follow the country's cricket enough to know for your self!

  • mukkit on October 10, 2013, 9:58 GMT

    Did you blokes read the article?....Bird, Starc and Pattinson are presently injured.

  • on October 10, 2013, 10:20 GMT

    xtrafalgarx, i totally agree with you people who dont followthe country's cricket and start writing comments after watching ipl and champions league and say why isn't that playing and why isn't this playing. As far as i am concerned i think from the players available hilfy, siddle, harris, hazlewood. these guys are pretty good. But i am pretty sure they are gonna miss pattinson in Australian conditions. And one thing that i am really hot happy so far and not in the pace department is the selection of o-keefe. i dont know if they are picking him for the return ashes but i really hope he gets a spot