Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Australia have decided to drop the pace duo of Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle for the second Test against India in Brisbane.
Harris was dropped after he strained his quadriceps, while Siddle was left out of the side since he failed to have a major impact during the first Test in Adelaide.
“Ryan Harris pulled up a little bit stiff and sore from Adelaide,” stand-in captain Steven Smith said. “He’s got a slight quad strain. Darren Lehmann has always said if our bowlers aren’t 100% fit going into the match we won’t be playing them. It’s very unfortunate for Ryan but hopefully he gets his body right soon.
“I think he’ll be okay in a couple of days. It’s just going into a Test match if you’re not 100% fit that’s the way it goes with this team. Hopefully he gets a bit of work done with the physios in the next couple of days and can start running and hopefully he’ll be fine for Melbourne.”
Since they will be without the services of Harris or Siddle during the second Test, Australia decided to call up Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc as their replacements.
“In regards to the inclusion of Mitchell Starc, I think we just wanted to play a bowler with a bit of extra pace and bounce,” Smith said. “Mitchell went back and bowled really well for New South Wales in the last couple of Shield games and deserves his spot.
“It’s obviously very disappointing for Peter Siddle, who’s been a terrific bowler over a long period of time. He’s certainly not out of the loop. He’s still in and around the team and hopefully he’ll get another game soon.
“It’s very exciting, I’ve watched Josh very closely over the last couple of years at New South Wales and he impresses me every time. He’s only getting better and better. This pitch out here is going to suit him perfectly. He’s very skilful for his age, and I’m just looking forward to seeing him zing a few through and bowl with that extra pace and get that extra bit of bounce as well.
“I think that’s part of the reason Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have been included in the team. It’s traditionally quite a fast and bouncy wicket and it looks no different out there for this Test match. Hopefully after the wickets we’ve played on recently in Test cricket, the Adelaide Oval and the two in the UAE, it’s exciting for our fast bowlers to finally have something that’s going to have a bit of liveliness to it.”
Smith also revealed that he will bat at number four following the inclusion of Shaun Marsh, who replaces regular skipper Michael Clarke.
Clarke was ruled out for the rest of the series after he tore his hamstring and injured his back during the first Test.
“I’ve had a chat to a couple of the senior players and the coach about it,” Smith said. “I just thought taking over the captaincy and a bit of extra responsibility that I’d step up to No.4 and get the job done there. I don’t think there’s a big difference between batting 4 and 5, so that’s just the way I’ve gone with it.”
Australia 1 David Warner, 2 Chris Rogers, 3 Shane Watson, 4 Steven Smith (capt), 5 Shaun Marsh, 6 Mitchell Marsh, 7 Brad Haddin (wk), 8 Mitchell Johnson, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Nathan Lyon, 11 Josh Hazlewood