Sydney - Former Test star Jason Gillespie believes pace
spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will become the greatest fast
bowling combination Australia has ever produced.
Gillespie, touted as a potential successor to current Test
coach Darren Lehmann, said their performance in the recent series defeat to
South Africa was a rare bright spot.
They finished as the first and third-highest wicket takers
with Hazlewood grabbing 17 at an average of 22 and Starc 14 wickets at 30.
The duo have now played 17 Tests together since Hazlewood's
debut two years ago and have taken 161 wickets alongside each other.
"Starc and Hazlewood, without doubt, will be the best
fast bowling combination Australia has ever produced," Gillespie, also
seen a possible replacement for Rod Marsh as chairman of selectors, told
cricket.com.au on Thursday.
"They'll stay fit, they'll stay healthy, they're
learning their trade all the time, they complement each other very well.
"Starc (is a) really fast, aggressive, nose-and-toes
attacking option who can swing the ball late at pace.
"And then you've got Hazlewood who is an aggressive
bowler but in a different way. He's aggressive with his relentless line and
length, he's very disciplined."
For his prediction to come true, they will have to surpass
some of the greats of the game, including Gillespie who teamed up with Glenn
McGrath to take 484 wickets between them in 58 Tests across a 10-year period.
Other great partnerships included Merv Hughes and Craig
McDermott and Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson.
"In many years' time when we're reflecting on great
Australian cricketers, those two (Starc and Hazlewood) will be right up
there," said Gillespie, now back in Australia after a hugely successful
five-year spell coaching English county Yorkshire.