Sydney, Australia (BBN)-Fast bowlers Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood could be rested from Australia’s Test tour of Bangladesh next month in an effort to ensure they are fresh for the upcoming home summer.
Australia are scheduled to play two Tests in Bangladesh starting on October 9, before returning home for six Tests against New Zealand and West Indies, and a two-Test tour of New Zealand, reports ESPNcricinfo.
Hazlewood was left out of the fifth Ashes Test as he began to show the effects of a long series, and Johnson sent down 140 overs across the five Tests.
Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance, hinted that both men would need to be managed carefully with such a busy season coming up.
“The selectors won’t meet to discuss the tour of Bangladesh for a couple of weeks,” Howard told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“There’s some important consideration that needs to be given to managing our fast bowlers, not just in Bangladesh, but the full 10-Test season, and that will be part of the discussion.
“Mitchell Johnson and Josh Hazlewood are two players that have had heavy workloads and need to be managed carefully if we are to give them the best chance of success throughout that entire period. Neither player has had a pre-season to prepare for the Australian summer and we think that’s particularly important.”
Entering the Bangladesh series without Johnson could be seen as tempting fate, for he was the only Australian bowler to average under 40 during last year’s series against Pakistan in the UAE, and Bangladesh might provide similar conditions.
If Johnson and Hazlewood are rested, it could mean the pace attack will be led by Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle.