Australia dropped fast bowler James Pattinson from a 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test against England starting at Lord’s on Wednesday, with Josh Hazlewood coming in as likely replacement.
Fellow quick Mitchell Starc, also overlooked for the first Test won by Australia at Edgbaston, was named in the squad but could end up carrying the drinks once the playing lineup is named at the toss.
Spearhead Pat Cummins and Peter Siddle, who made up the pace trio with Pattinson in the 251 run opening victory, retained their places.
Edgbaston was Pattinson’s first Test in three and a half years, after he suffered back injuries and then underwent surgery, and he took two wickets.
Left-armer Starc played all five Tests on the 2015 Ashes tour and finished as the highest wicket-taker in the 50-overs World Cup last month.
Captain Tim Paine has said he wants to manage his fast bowlers to keep them free from injury, and the weather could be another factor, with rain possible throughout Wednesday.
“We just want to have another quick look at the wicket. We know there’s a bit of weather around. We’ll make a call on the conditions and what we think is going to be the best combination,” he told reporters.
“But also knowing this is a big series and there’s going to be a lot of overs bowled.”
Australia’s victory at Edgbaston was their first in the opening Test of an away Ashes series since 2005.
Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (captain, wicket keeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
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