Australia's big three quicks on track to play a full summer of Test cricket

Cummins, Hazlewood and Starc will play together in Adelaide for the sixth Test in a row.

Alex Malcolm

'A solid series win for Australia as Pakistan's top order underperforms'

Andrew McClashon also points out that the hunt for David Warner's permanent replacement now begins for the hosts.

Australia's fast bowlers are set to play seven Test matches against Pakistan, West Indies and New Zealand.

Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc have played 28 Tests together as fast bowlers, but this is only the second time in their career that they have played five consecutive Tests together.

After playing the full four-match home Test series against India in December 2020 and January 2021 and then the first Test of the Ashes, the former came with the help of an 11-month Covid-induced gap between the fourth and fifth. In December 2021.

But in this stretch, they were able to play the last two Tests of the Ashes series together in July 2023, with the trio playing at least four Tests in that series, while Cummins and Starc played in the World Test Championship final.

They then played together in 10 of 11 matches in the ODI World Cup, with Starc rested for one match before the semi-finals and playing unchanged in the Pakistan series. Amid talk of who will replace David Warner, MacDonald confirmed that he would be an unchanged trio for the first Test against the West Indies starting on January 17 in Adelaide and the next four against the West Indies and New Zealand. .

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„There's nothing to suggest they need rest,” Macdonald said after the four-day win in Sydney. „They've got a bit of a break for the West Indies Test. I could see an unchanged bowling line-up for Adelaide.

„That's probably something we've noticed, they've probably been better [Pakistan] Cont. Specifically, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. And Mitch Starc, I think his pace was at its peak in this game.

Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc: Australia's World Cup-winning pace trio ICC/Getty Images

Australia's selectors and support staff do not expect the trio to emerge from a tough 2023. Reserve quicks Scott Boland and Lance Morris have been meticulously planned to be ready for the Perth Test in anticipation of one or two. A key trio returning to the team after the World Cup with some soreness.

But that scenario never materialized, meaning both Morris and Boland were sent back to the BBL to play some cricket, Poland's first game of the BBL season for the Melbourne Stars last night since his eight-wicket haul on November 19. Sheffield Shield walk out against Queensland.

Morris was frustrated by only being allowed to play in four of the first six Shield games for Western Australia, and was able to play only one game of club cricket in Perth between his last Shield game and the first PBL on 17 November. game of the season on December 20.

Macdonald plans to need reinforcements but three four-day Tests against Pakistan have helped their cause.

„In the background, we're sorting out the schedule for the five-day Tests and if we go five days, that will put huge pressures and pressure on the bowling unit,” MacDonald said. „We were not lucky, but in the first Test in Perth, the second innings was cut short for the bowling department.

Pat Cummins performed well during the Pakistan series AFP/Getty Images

„It gives you the flexibility to push them a little harder throughout the Pakistan series. We always say that we plan in the background. The players want to play in every Test match. That's very important. We want to pick the best Test team we can at any given time. So they don't compromise. I think their long-term future is how many games they can play.”

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Cummins said before the Sydney Test that he hoped the trio would be able to play the full set of seven Tests over the summer. After the win in Sydney, he was named man of the series and was surprised by how good he felt.

„I felt great, the body felt really good,” Cummins said. „There are times when you bowl well and the wickets don't really follow it. I was very happy with how everything was going. I bowled where I wanted and went through the gears.

„At the end of the World Cup, the bowlers always take away a few nickels and I was a bit sore and bruised, but how I got back in Perth after a few weeks' rest, I felt really good. Then. How much cricket we played so that our first XI didn't get injured, not just for the guys, Credit to the medical staff and coaches and how they've managed us over the last couple of years. How can't we be happy with everything barred.”

Alex Malcolm is Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo

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