Australia have left pace bowler James Pattinson out of their 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test against England, with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood vying for recalls.
Pattinson was part of the team that won by 251 runs at Edgbaston, taking two wickets on his first Test appearance in almost three years.
Cricket Australia confirmed all players were available for selection, but, with Pattinson’s longstanding fitness problems and the next two Tests coming back to back, the decision to stand him down appears to be a case of workload management.
Regardless, they are selecting from a position of strength. Left-arm quick Starc was the top wicket-taker at the recent World Cup with 27 and Hazlewood was left out of the tournament entirely to get him fit and ready for this series.
The latter is understood to be winning the selection battle after tuning up with three for 34 in last week’s tour match at Worcester, but the final decision will not be revealed until the toss.
Speaking on Monday, head coach Justin Langer spoke of the good luck Australia had in having all of their pace attack ready to go.
“What is fortunate at the moment is we’ve got six fit and healthy fast bowlers,” he said.
“I’ve been coaching for about 10 years now and I can’t ever remember having that luxury, but it could change like that so we’re not getting carried away with it.
“The fact that we had Josh and Mitch on the bench in the last Test match, it doesn’t happen very often.”