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Australia could ‘rest and rotate’ pacers in Ashes

Australia are considering to opt ‘rest and rotation’ policy during the Ashes series at home later this year.

Australia could 'rest and rotate' pacers in Ashes

World No.1 Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and spinner Nathan Lyon had played all four Tests against India in the last summer. Since bowling India out for 36 in Adelaide, the star-studded line-up could not cause much damage as the hosts found themselves losing the series 1-2.

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Cummins was the only Aussie paceman to play all five Tests in the 2019 Ashes in England. Selector Trevor Hohns says Australia will monitor rotation policy a bit harder.

“Particularly now, when most Test matches are programmed pretty closely on the heels of each other. We can’t ask them to continually back up, day after day after day,” Hohns said.

“It’s only natural they are going to get tired. Sure, they might feel OK within themselves, but we’ve really got to monitor that a bit harder.”

James Pattinson, the right-armer, has earned a Cricket Australia contract despite not playing any international match in the summer. He missed out on India series after receiving an injury. The next summer might see him getting an opportunity.

“In hindsight, maybe he could have been used last year. We still consider him a prime candidate to play Test cricket for us in the coming 12 months – depending on form, whether he’s injured, or other fast bowlers are injured. He’s very important to us … our premier back-up fast bowler,” Hohns said.

As opposed to England, who will host New Zealand for two Tests and India for five this year, Australia do not have any Test fixture until the one-off Afghanistan Test before the Ashes, which is a concern for them.

The fixtures are yet to be finalised but will begin right after T20 World Cup.

“Very concerned about that, no doubt, and hopeful that they’ll be plenty of Shield cricket – and I believe there will be – programmed leading up to the first Test. However, that won’t help some of our players as hopefully they’ll be fully engaged in the T20 World Cup.

“It’s a difficult one, England are certainly playing plenty of Test cricket and we haven’t got anything on the plate so it’s a concern,” Hohns added.

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