Mr. Cricket, Mike Hussey has conceded that the young pacers, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will be spearheading Australia’s pace brigade for next month’s Test tour of India. The pace duo will be the first choice for the Australian skipper, Steve Smith for the first Test in Pune on February 23.
Talking about the other fast bowlers in the team like Jackson Bird who has taken 13 wickets during the third Commonwealth Bank Test against South Africa in November. Talking about that Hussey said, “It’s a tough one, (the third seamer spot) is the one I’ve agonized over. I can understand going for someone like a Tremain who’s got a bit more ball speed and be able to help out with reverse (swing)."
He further elaborated, “But I still like Jackson Bird. You know what you’re going to get, day in day out. He’s going to be there or thereabouts, he can build up the pressure and then you can attack from the other end. I think that would help the spinners at the other end if you know you’ve got a ‘banker’ like Jackson Bird. It’s a 50-50 call, I don’t which way the selectors are going to go. But I’m a big Jackson Bird fan.”
While having a chat with Optus Sport’s Stumps, Hussey also conceded, “I think we need to pick the best batsman to bat at No.6, particularly in India. If they can help out with the ball, that’s a massive bonus. So my candidates would be Shaun Marsh rather than Mitch Marsh, but also Glenn Maxwell or Travis Head who can help out with some handy overs in the middle.”
Speaking of the brilliant century by Matt Renshaw in the SCG Test against Pakistan, Hussey concluded, “Before the Sydney Test I would have definitely been 50/50 (about taking Renshaw to India). (He thought) ‘do you expose a young player like that to Indian conditions where mentally you could ruin him for a few months?’ But after seeing him make 184 in that last Test, he looks class. I think he’s earned his spot on that plane and an opportunity in India.”