Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 August 2019

Australia leave out James Pattinson for second Ashes Test as part of long-term planning

Spearhead Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle, who made up pace trio with Pattinson at Edgbaston, retain places

Fast bowler James Pattinson made a comeback into the Australian Test team after a gap of three-and-a-half years. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images
Fast bowler James Pattinson made a comeback into the Australian Test team after a gap of three-and-a-half years. Ryan Pierse / Getty Images

Australia dropped fast bowler James Pattinson from their 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test against England starting at Lord's on Wednesday, with Josh Hazlewood coming in as likely replacement.

Fellow quick Mitchell Starc, the left-armer who was also overlooked for the first Test won by Australia at Edgbaston, also made the squad but could end up carrying the drinks once the playing line-up is named at the toss.

Spearhead Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle, who made up the pace trio with Pattinson in the 251-run opening victory, retained their places.

Captain Tim Paine said Pattinson was left out as part of long-term planning, with the choice between Hazlewood and Starc. "Whichever one of those two we unleash tomorrow, they are certainly ready to go," he said.

Hazlewood is seen as the likeliest replacement based on performances in a tour match against Worcestershire last week.

Edgbaston was Pattinson's first Test in three-and-a-half years, after he suffered back injuries and then underwent surgery, and he took two wickets.

"He's available for selection but we've decided to rest him for this game and make sure that his long-term future is in really good shape," Paine explained. "He's come back off a really long lay-off, a really serious operation, and we want to make sure that he's truly right for the next three or four years.

The third Ashes Test at Yorkshire's Headingley ground in Leeds comes as a quick turnaround from Lord's, with play starting on August 22.

"It was always going to be one way or the other," Paine said. "He would miss this Test and be fresher for the third Test or he has this one after the long break and doesn't play in the third.

"I think if you look at Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood's records at Lord's, it's a good venue for one of those to come in and play and be confident in the fact that they can bowl really well here."

Starc played all five Tests on the 2015 Ashes tour and finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 50-overs World Cup last month.

The weather could be a factor in who gets the nod, with rain possible throughout Wednesday.

"There's not set combinations, we sort of come in the morning and have a look and go with a bit of a gut feel. You try and make the best possible decision that you can when you have a look at the conditions you're faced with," Paine said.

Australia's victory at Edgbaston was their first in the opening Test of an away Ashes series since 2005.

England's Barbados-born fast bowler Jofra Archer will be making his Test debut on Wednesday, and Paine said Australia would be ready for whatever he delivered.

"A lot of our guys have seen Jofra or faced him, obviously it's been in white ball cricket, but we've faced him in Australia where conditions really suit fast bowling. I think we've seen him at his fastest," he said.

"There's times where he's going to be a real threat and we're going to have to weather that."

Updated: August 13, 2019 08:04 PM

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