Rookie throws down challenge to ‘comfortable’ quicks

This could get awkward.
This could get awkward.

AUSTRALIA bowling coach David Saker concedes his star pace trio grew "a little comfortable" with their places in the Test side, although denies they were complacent.

Pat Cummins has enjoyed a golden summer but Mitchell Starc has been well below his best, leading to experts, such as Shane Warne, calling for him to be dropped.

Josh Hazlewood was similarly out of form before he was ruled out of the two Test series against Sri Lanka with a back injury.

His misfortune handed an opportunity to 22 year old Jhye Richardson, whose 3-26 on Test debut has proven the pace trio is no longer impenetrable.

Saker decalred on day two of the first Test at the Gabba that his quicks weren't complacent, but he nonetheless welcomed the added competition Richardson brings.

"We came up against a really good opposition in India and a couple of times on pretty flat wickets," Saker said.

"It's not all complacency, I think they might have been a little comfortable at times, but I reckon they've done a great job over 12-to-18 months.

"It's just great to get new players in, especially with different sorts of skills sets.

Jhye Richardson celebrates his first Test wicket.
Jhye Richardson celebrates his first Test wicket.

"The ability to swing the ball we know is really important and to see the youngster (Jhye Richardson) do that was fantastic."

Richardson blew away not only Sri Lanka on his first day of Test cricket, but also former England skipper Michael Vaughan who believes he could be an Ashes replacement for Starc.

The 22-year-old impressed on debut with some exemplary swing bowling that was sorely missed during the series against India.

By the dinner break on day one of the first Test, Vaughan had already seen enough of the youngster to hand down a verdict on his Ashes aspirations.

"Forget him just getting on a plane, he starts the first Test at Edgbaston for me," Vaughan said on Fox Cricket.

"[He has] outstanding skill and pace, we saw it in the one-dayers ... Number one on the team sheet, first Test at Edgbaston: J. Richardson."

News Corp Australia


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