LONDON (Reuters) – Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will play in the second test of the Ashes series at Lord’s, head coach Justin Langer said on Wednesday, edging out team mate Mitchell Starc as the side pick from a host of world-class pacemen.
The second test will now take place over four days starting on Thursday after rain washed out play on Wednesday.
Australia opted to rest Hazlewood throughout the recently finished Cricket World Cup, where Starc was the tournament’s top wicket-taker, and for the first test of the Ashes.
But Hazlewood, who has played 44 tests and taken 164 wickets at an average of 27.14 runs, had been seen as the likeliest replacement for the dropped James Pattinson in the second test, based on his performances in a tour match against Worcestershire last week.
“He’s got an outstanding record that he’s built up over the last few months. He missed out on the World Cup because we felt that he hadn’t played much cricket (but) we know that he’s an outstanding bowler,” Langer told reporters at Lord’s.
“We know that against England he should execute his plans really well. He’s bowled well the last couple of weeks, and we hope that he does a good job for us in this test match.
“He hits a great length (when bowling), and he’s usually pretty miserly (when it comes to giving away runs),” Langer said.
Langer said Pattinson had been a little stiff after the first test, a resounding win for Australia at Edgbaston, but was working back to fitness for the third test at the Headingley ground in Leeds starting on Aug. 22.
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.
(Reporting by Hugh Lawson, editing by Pritha Sarkar)