Ashes Opener: Justin Langer Reveals Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood And Peter Siddle Fighting For "One Spot"
Justin Langer revealed that "seasoned pro" Usman Khawaja is set to bat at No.3 in the Ashes opener after he passed the fitness test.
Ashes 2019 will start in two days' time but Australian selectors have a big task at their hands as they have to decide on which fast bowlers to pick for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Mitchell Starc, who was the top wicket-taker in World Cup 2019, is among the three bowlers who are fighting for "one spot". "There's probably three to be fair, (Mitch Starc), Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood for one spot," Australia head coach, Justin Langer was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"Three pretty good players to try to find a spot for, I reckon," Langer added.
Langer insisted that the team management will pick the best three or four fast bowlers -- a method which they used during the World Cup.
"Like in the World Cup we'll pick the best three or four for every game we play," said the former opener.
He also stressed that the team management will not tinker too much with the fast bowling combination unless there is a drastic difference in the playing conditions.
"They (the fast bowlers) won't be rotated as such," Langer said.
"We won't rotate them per se, but we'll just pick the best three, probably not four, but three for every game
"Lord's is very different to here (Edgbaston), Old Trafford's going to be different, so that's how. It won't be different opposition, certainly different conditions," he added.
While keeping mum on who among Starc, Hazlewood and Siddle will get a game, Langer revealed that "seasoned pro" Usman Khawaja is set to bat at No. 3 in the Ashes opener after he passed the fitness test.
"Usman Khawaja will definitely be in. He's a seasoned pro for us, he averages 40-odd in Test cricket, his hammy (hamstring) is good, he's running well, he's passed all the fitness tests so he's ready to go. He'll bat No.3," the Australian head coach said.
Langer also said that James Pattinson is "more than likely to play".
"It's a great story isn't it, coming back from where he was as a young bowler, the back surgeries, to more than likely being selected for this Test match, it's a great story," Langer said.
Australia will kick-start the Ashes campaign against arch-rivals England on Thursday, August 1 in Birmingham.