Jason Gillespie, the former Australian fast bowler, has expressed his support for the inclusion of left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc in the team’s starting eleven for the second Ashes Test against England at Lord’s.
Gillespie emphasized the importance of maintaining a fresh and dynamic bowling line-up throughout the demanding series.
Starc had featured in Australia’s victorious World Test Championship final against India at The Oval just a few weeks ago.
However, he was omitted from the team in favor of Scott Boland for the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, a gripping match that Australia won by two wickets.
“Traditionally, you wouldn’t look to change a winning team but, because this is the most condensed Ashes series in history, of five Tests in under seven weeks, it’s important to keep your bowlers as fresh as possible.
“Yes, Starc can go for a few runs but if Australia were to employ similar fields to those they used on the opening day of this series, with three guys out on the fence, Starc will get protection and because he is a really attacking bowler — he tends to pitch the ball a lot further up than Test rivals, to get it swinging and bring yorkers into play — his team could benefit,” wrote Gillespie in his column for Daily Mail on Sunday.
Gillespie felt Boland is likely to be the player who will make way for Starc in the playing eleven, pointing out that England went after the right-arm seamer at Edgbaston.
“And England’s approach to Scott Boland at Edgbaston might influence Australia’s thinking on second Test selection. It was a legitimate tactic that England looked to put Scott off his game, which is being disciplined, bowling line and length, bashing that same area on the pitch all day in a bid to hit the top of off-stump. They succeeded in hitting him off that by being ultra aggressive, scoring at more than six an over in the first innings and five in the second,” he said.
“I know their philosophy is to play this aggressive Bazball-type cricket generally, but it seemed England went up another gear whenever Boland came on to bowl and the introduction of Starc in his place would give Australia the chance to fight fire with fire,” he added.
Gillespie opined Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who is coming off a troubled injury run, can prove to be lethal in operating against England at Lord’s.