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ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Australia could unleash fearsome pace quartet on England

Ram Kumar
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 11:02 IST
Starc Hazlewood Cummins Pattinson
Australia could use Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins and Pattinson in the same eleven

What’s the story?

Having already booked a place in the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy, England might be forgiven for thinking that their last group game against Australia would be a pressure-less affair. However, the Aussies, who face the prospect of a virtual knockout clash, are ready to unleash an intimidating pace quartet on their unsuspecting traditional rivals. 

When asked about such a possibility, skipper Steven Smith said, “It might be talked about. I think we'll come down here tomorrow and have another look. We might get a chance to see the wicket, maybe. I dare say a fresh wicket, it could do a reasonable amount. Particularly if it's overcast and there's a bit of rain about.”

“It could present a few challenges with the weather. It might be a bit of an under-prepared wicket and a wicket that perhaps might do a little bit. So that'll certainly come into the equation. We probably won't be able to name the team until the day of the game because we won't be able to have a chance to look at it.”

In the past

Australia’s ‘Fearsome Four’ comprise of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson. In the recent past, former captain Steve Waugh as well as current head coach Darren Lehmann had likened their fast bowling combination to the menacing pace quartet of West Indies in the 80s.

The heart of the matter

Even though all four of them are in the squad, Australia have not used them in the same game. While Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins featured in the first two matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh, Pattinson did not find a place in the playing eleven. In fact, the 27-year old’s last ODI appearance came back in September 2015.

With rain having the final say in their first two group games, Australia currently have 2 points. They need a victory in the clash against England to progress to the semi-finals of the tournament. The team management will have to decide whether to include an extra seamer in the form of Pattinson or retain leg-spinner Adam Zampa for the crucial contest. 

What’s next?

Australia will lock horns with England at Edgbaston on Saturday. The victors of the game between New Zealand and Bangladesh will be watching the contest closely as they can go through to the semi-finals should the hosts emerge triumphant.

Author’s take

The thought of watching four world-class fast bowlers operate in tandem is certainly a mouth-watering one. With conditions predicted to be quite overcast and the surface expected to be fresh, Australia should unleash their dangerous pace quartet on England’s imposing batting lineup.

Published 09 Jun 2017, 20:05 IST
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