Mitchell Johnson urges Australian selectors to drop Mitchell Starc for Sri Lanka Tests
What's the story?
Disappointed with the Australian bowling attack in the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy, former pacer Mitchell Johnson has said that the selectors need to try new options in the upcoming Sri Lanka Tests ahead of this year's Ashes series.
Pointing towards the premier pace trio's waning returns, the 37-year-old insisted that they needed to be kept on their toes. He also singled out Mitchell Starc and called upon the selectors to drop the left-arm pacer for the Sri Lanka series in order to give chances to young pacers like Scott Boland and Chris Tremain.
In a column for The Sunday Times, Johnson wrote, "Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have excellent records over their careers, but have not been able to get the job done this summer. They now need to be pushed for their places and the Sri Lanka series provides an opportunity to look at some quicks who could be successful in English conditions."
Australian bowlers haven't been to their best recently. During their past 12 innings, the opponents have declared six times when they have bowled. In the ongoing series against India as well, the trio of Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins have been unable to stop the visiting batsmen from piling on the runs.
The heart of the matter
The Aussies are set to play Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series later this month. Having failed to pull off positive results against India, Johnson has urged the selection panel to take some tough decisions for their next assignment. He referred to the Ashes series in England later this year and urged them to try out a few new pacers.
Johnson wrote, "The question of who would make room for them is a difficult one, however on current form Starc might need to make way. Starc has a tremendous overall record but has not enjoyed the best past year. He appears to be struggling with a lack of rhythm."
Australia hasn't been the same team since the exit of experienced duo of Steve Smith and David Warner. Pertinently, despite being a top bowling side, the Tim Paine-led side is failing to deliver.
However, they will get a good opportunity to get back into rhythm when they take the field against Sri Lanka for a two-Test series starting on January 24.