Selectors back Australia’s inconsistent pace attackBy IANS
Sunday, January 2, 2011
SYDNEY - Cricket Australia chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch has backed the pace trio of Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, despite their inconsistent run, ahead of the fifth and last Ashes Test beginning here Monday.
The trio have won only two of nine Tests together against England. Australia have conceded 500-plus three times this summer, but Hilditch applauded the performance of the pace attack.
“As a whole we think the fast bowling group has done very well throughout this series,” Hilditch was quoted as saying in Sydney Morning Herald Sunday.
“Obviously there have been some outstanding individual performances from Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson but we also feel Ben Hilfenhaus has been very consistent without having much luck.
“It must be remembered that three of our most promising fast bowlers in Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson are recovering from injuries and we believe our fast bowling stocks will continue to be in a very healthy state when we see that pressure coming from the interstate level.”
Doug Bollinger, Australia’s most consistent Test bowler last year before breaking down in India, was unable to tip Hilfenhaus out of the XI despite the Tasmanian capturing only four wickets at a hefty 73.5 average.
“It was obviously a tough call,” said stand-in captain Michael Clarke.
“I spoke to the selectors today. ‘Hilfy’ has bowled pretty well without too much luck. Dougie, as I’ve always said, is not only a good friend but also a wonderful bowler.
“The selectors, for whatever reason, have stuck with Hilf, which shows loyalty and respect to Ben. He’s bowled well throughout this series without getting too many wickets.”