Starc, Hazlewood pose new threat to Proteas

2016-10-18 21:46
Mitchell Starc (Getty Images)

Cape Town - There is a good chance that, when the Proteas batsmen front up to the Australian bowling attack next month, they will be facing none of the players who they dismantled in the recent ODI series. 

The Proteas won that series 5-0, but they can expect a new-look bowling attack when the first of three Tests gets underway at the WACA on November 3. 

Mitchell Starc is set to return from a freak leg injury where a stray wicket at training saw him require 30 stitches while Josh Hazlewood is back after being rested for the South African tour. 

Veteran seamer Peter Siddle is unlikely to be fit for the first Test but has been identified by Australian bowling coach Ryan Harris as being potentially influential for the rest of the series, while Jackson Bird is also in line. 

Then there is Pat Cummins, who is also back from a back injury and was in the wickets for New South Wales last week.

It means that there is a good chance that none of Joe Mennie, John Hastings, Chris Tremain or Daniel Worrall will feature in the Tests. 

In addition, Adam Zampa is expected to make way for Nathan Lyon, who is Australia's first-choice Test spinner. 

Proteas captain Faf du Plessis is under no illusions, and while he says the batting line-up will take confidence from the historic whitewash in the 50-over format, they will have to start again for the Tests. 

Starc and Hazlewood demaded particular attention.

"Starc is a huge bowler for them, but statistically in One Day cricket he's been more of an asset," Du Plessis said.

"It'll be a little bit more preparation for us with left-arm quick bowling. He is obviously one of those guys who can crank it up and get it close to 150 km/h so it's just about preparing for that.

"Also reverse swing, he is pretty good."

Hazlewood, Du Plessis said, benefited from his consistency.

"Josh Hazlewood is a pretty standard bowler who just hits good lengths all day long ... pretty similar to Dale (Steyn) and Vern (Philander)," Du Plessis said.

"We just have to make sure that we get back into our patience and our really good discipline. I think that's been the success in our Test team. The guys have been prepared to knuckle down and when they get their opportunities to take them well."


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