As the Cricket World Cup 2019 nears, all the teams, except New Zealand – they have announced their squad – are finalizing the list of players that will be flying to England and Wales for the mega event. Australia team, which recently unveiled its official kit for the event, has been under discussion for some time regarding the inclusion of Steve Smith and David Warner. More so, their bowling attack is still not finalized due to injury concerns.
Imagine a pace trio or even a quartet of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood and Pat Cummins (and Billy Stanlake) steaming in and ripping apart batting lineups at will. If these 4 play against Pakistan on a lively green pitch, cricket gurus will suggest you place your money on Australia and not the other way around.
Well, here’s the catch. None of these fast bowlers is fully fit, neither a sure shot for the World Cup. Why? All of these are injured. Add to list the name of Jhye Richardson, who was impressive against Pakistan in the first few matches of the series before he returned home with an injury.
Let’s have a look at each of these bowlers’ fitness and their chances for World Cup selection.
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The fiery left-arm pacer, Mitchell Starc suffered a left pectoral injury in the Sri Lanka series and ruled him unfit for India tour as well. While he was initially thought to be available for the UAE tour however, he didn’t recover fully.
The express bowler, who regularly clocks 150kph, is expected to be fit for action in early May, meaning that he will be a hot topic in the selection committee meetup later in April.
A world-class seam and swing bowler, Josh Hazlewood suffered a blow to his back in the Test series against India which has kept him out of action until now. He has started bowling in the nets and will be available for selection.
Another speedster, Pat Cummins was seen bowling in the limited overs tours to India and the United Arab Emirates. However, he was rested in the last few matches of the UAE series against Pakistan to avoid any injury troubles. He is fully fit now but, he has a knack for picking up injuries at crucial times.
Billy Stanlake, another super-fast bowler, is also fully fit and he is currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 for Sunrisers Hyderabad. The towering fast bowler is yet to get a game at the IPL. He is not a sure starter for the mega event, but looking at the English conditions, he might well be given another go.
The impressive left-handed fast bowler enjoyed a stellar run for Australia this season, however, a shoulder injury ruled him out of the UAE tour. He would have been a top pick for Aussies at the mega event if he was fully fit. However, his dreams of representing the defending champions are still bright as he is hopeful of recovering before the World Cup.
Other important fast bowlers in line are Andrew Tye, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Kane Richardson and Jason Behrendorff, who are all very good pacers and can be picked in the 15-man squad.
Which of these bowlers will you pick for Australia? Let us know in the comments section.