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James Pattinson Frontrunner to Replace Josh Hazlewood in Boxing Day Test: Justin Langer

Australia coach Justin Langer has revealed that James Pattinson is the frontrunner to replace Josh Hazlewood for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand.

Cricketnext Staff |December 18, 2019, 1:21 PM IST
James Pattinson Frontrunner to Replace Josh Hazlewood in Boxing Day Test: Justin Langer

Australia coach Justin Langer has revealed that fast bowler James Pattinson is the frontrunner to replace injured Josh Hazlewood for the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand, and not Peter Siddle.

Siddle was called up to the squad after Hazlewood’s hamstring injury. Langer went on to mention that Siddle is unlikely to make it to the playing XI, unless there are several injuries in the line up.

"James Pattinson, we know what he brings to the team; he brings so much energy, bowls good pace, he's played a lot at the MCG," Langer said in Perth. "While we're not going to name the side now he certainly will be a frontrunner.

"You've got to manage it as well. Michael Neser played the last Shield game, James Pattinson the one before that. You've just got to manage it."

Former Australia legends Shane Warne and Geoff Lwason didn’t really sound very pleased with the selection of Siddle in the 14-member squad in the first place. Warne said picking Siddle was a "backward step" and called for Tasmania paceman Riley Meredith to be included, while Geoff Lawson said Langer "has his favourites and, unfortunately, sometimes he plays them as well".

But Langer went on to defend the veteran’s selection in the team.

"Everyone's got a different opinion on it, that's OK," he said. "I don't think we should discriminate against Peter Siddle who played the last Ashes Test match. We're all about winning this Test series and we believe, if required, he would be the person to do that.

"We've got some other young bowlers who are unavailable because of injury. For example, Sean Abbott, he's going into the one-day side so we want to see him play Big Bash cricket. He got man of the match in the last T20 game, we want him to keep playing Big Bash so he's playing white-ball cricket.

"A lot of thinking goes into these things, it's not just what you see on the surface. A lot of thinking goes into it and we think Sidds is the right person for this Test match."

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 New Zealand 3241 112
3 South Africa 3177 102
4 England 4593 102
5 Australia 3672 102
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7364 121
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5568 265
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 10071 258
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