Adelaide - Australia on Tuesday turned to
James Pattinson and Nathan Coulter-Nile to replenish their diminishing fast
bowling ranks for next week's opening Test against the West Indies.
Selectors named the pace duo in a 12-man
squad for the December 10-14 Hobart Test following a stress fracture foot
injury to Mitchell Starc on top of the recent retirement of Mitchell Johnson.
The panel is also mulling the pressing need
to give Adelaide Test man-of-the-match Josh Hazlewood some time off to refresh
as Australia face a three-Test series against the West Indies and two return
Tests in New Zealand in February.
Pattinson, 25, played the last of his 13
Tests against South Africa in March 2014 with his career stalled by chronic
back and hamstring issues.
Coulter-Nile, 28, has been included despite
not playing any domestic Sheffield Shield matches so far this summer because of
a shoulder injury.
He should have bowled for Western Australia
last weekend but was given a one-match ban for showing dissent at an umpire's
decision in the domestic second XI league, meaning he has not played
first-class cricket since the Sheffield Shield final in March.
"We've had our eye on Nathan for a
long time. We've been very pleased with the way he's played when he has
played," selector Rod Marsh told reporters.
"But he's been a fast bowler who
hasn't been injury-free and I guess we are at the situation now because of the
two Mitchells, one injured and one retiring, that we do need a bit of pace up
front, so he's in the 12.
"Once Mitchell Starc went down
everyone's mind turned straight to Nathan Coulter-Nile."
Senior quick Peter Siddle, who has become
even more important to Australia's plans with the pressures on the pace
brigade, experienced back problems during last weekend's day-night third Test
against New Zealand in Adelaide.
As a precaution selectors have placed Scott
Boland on standby in case of further injury problems heading into the Test.
"Hopefully, all the bowlers from the
Adelaide Test recover well over the next few days but we are mindful our fast
bowlers have had a heavy workload over this series," Marsh said.
Marsh spoke of the conundrum facing selectors
over Hazlewood's recent workload. He bowled a total of 119 overs in the recent
New Zealand series.
"It will be very difficult for Josh
Hazlewood to get through six Tests in a summer and then go to New Zealand and
play two more and we also have a one-day series against India," Marsh
"So we'll see how he's tracking, if
he's strong and he's fit.
"It helps if you don't have to play
five-day Test matches too. The last couple of days of a Test match can be quite
difficult for a fast bowler."
Given Australia's current fast bowling
predicament, Marsh was asked if he had considered talking Johnson out of
"I thought about it," he said
jokingly. "No, you have to respect a bloke when he retires.
"There's a reason why he wanted to
retire and he didn't want to play anymore, it's simple as that. You don't go
there."Australia - David Warner, Joe Burns, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Peter Nevill, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, James Pattinson, Nathan Lyon, Nathan Coulter-Nile.