I don’t expect those guys to play every match: Waugh on Aus pace trio

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh isn’t expecting the Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc to feature in every match of the 2021/22 Ashes. He added that though the trio will remain his first-choice Test bowlers, making them play all five matches of the Ashes will be asking for trouble.

“For me, Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins are the first choice. But there’s five Tests in a very short space of time, so I don’t expect those guys to play every match, that’s probably asking for trouble,” Waugh told Wide World of Sports on Friday.

In Australia’s squad for the first two Tests of The Ashes, the pace troika of Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood have been picked along with Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser as back-up pace options.

In the 2019 Ashes in England, where Australia retained the urn in a 2-2 draw, Cummins played all five matches with other pacers rotated. But in the 2020/21 Border Gavaskar Trophy, Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood played all four matches but were fatigued as India came from behind to win 2-1.

“The backup guys will be required, and for me that’s Neser, Richardson and (Sean) Abbott. So, there’s some good options there for the selectors to look at,” added Waugh, who was a part of the 2019 Ashes as the mentor of the Australian team.

Earlier, Cummins said on Wednesday that he would be surprised if same bowlers were used throughout the five Tests in The Ashes, starting from December 8 in Brisbane.

“I’d be surprised if the same four bowlers were used for all five Tests. That’s pretty rare, especially the five-Test match summer. But I certainly won’t be putting my hand up to be rested unless I’ve got something going wrong,” Cummins was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“The great thing is we’ve got a huge stable of fast bowlers. So yeah, I don’t think it’ll be a huge issue if someone’s not able to get up for a Test or someone’s just red-lining a little bit. Someone else can slot in. When someone’s I guess rested it is normally more to it than just purely workload. There’s always niggles and small little injuries that we’re dealing with, basically after every single Test match,” added Cummins, who is tipped to be the captain after Tim Paine’s sudden resignation on Friday.