Josh Hazlewood will play in the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s, Australia coach Justin Langer confirmed after Wednesday’s opening day was washed out without a ball bowled.
Fast bowler Hazlewood has seen off competition from left-arm quick Mitchell Starc, who was also included in a 12-man squad after paceman James Pattinson was omitted as part of a rotation policy, having featured in Australia’s 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston.
“He’s got an outstanding record,” said Langer of the 28-year-old Hazlewood, whose 44 Tests have yielded 164 wickets at an average of 27.14 runs but who was sidelined with a stress fracture earlier this year.
“He hits a great length and he’s usually pretty miserly with his economy rate, that’s what gave him the edge in this game,” said Langer, who left both Hazlewood and World Cup spearhead Starc out of his side at Edgbaston.
“Don’t get me wrong, it was a hard decision. If it comes off we know what we are doing, if it doesn’t we don’t, that’s just the business we are in.”
Meanwhile Langer was glad to see Australia captain Tim Paine spared a tricky decision after the weather prevented the toss from taking place.
“We had a joke there for a moment, asking if the captain tosses the coin and he wins the toss can he ask the opposition to make the choice,” he said.
“A couple of the umpires weren’t sure, but they checked for us and you have to make a decision.”
Teams don’t have to name their sides until the toss, but England appear set to give a debut to Jofra Archer after the World Cup-winning fast bowler was presented with his Test cap by Sussex team-mate Chris Jordan on Wednesday.
Jordan, like Archer born in Barbados, has been a key figure in helping his close friend settle into English cricket and he gave a touching tribute to the 24-year-old Test newcomer in front of the England squad.
“I know this is the pinnacle for you. Apart from receiving my England cap this is easily one of my proudest moments,” Jordan, who played in eight Test matches for England, told his friend.
“I’ve watched you grow, not only as a cricketer but also as a professional and a human being. Every single challenge that has presented itself to you so far you find a way of rising to it and I don’t see Test cricket being any different.”
England have still to decide whether Sam Curran, a left-arm seamer, or left-arm spinner Jack Leach will complete their side.
Play will be extended to 98 overs per day, with the follow-on reduced to within 150 runs rather than 200 now this is a four-day match.
Thursday is set to see Lord’s turn red in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation -- a lung cancer charity set up to honour the late wife of Andrew Strauss, the former England captain and director of men’s cricket, who died from the disease.
Fans have been asked to wear the colour and both teams will wear limited-edition caps and shirts that will be auctioned off.