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Cricket Australia opt to rest Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for South Africa’s tour

Mitchell Starc Australia
Australian cricketer Mitchell Starc (C) celebrates with his teammates.(Photo by ISHARA S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Cricket Australia has decided to rest pace bowling spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for this month’s ODI series in South Africa. This news comes just few days after skipper Steve Smith opted to pull the remainder of the ODI series against Sri Lanka.

While Smith took a break to keep himself fresh for the South Africa’s tour, Cricket Australia has decided ease the stress from the shoulders of the pace bowling duo and keep them out the same series so that they can they can be fresh for the hectic Australian summer season.

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“Mitchell and Josh have had big tours of Sri Lanka and have a heavy workload ahead of them with ten Tests to be played this (domestic) summer,” chief selector Rod Marsh said.

“As such, it is important they are managed appropriately and we believe missing the tour of South Africa is the right time for them to take a break.”

Also, read – ENG v PAK, 4th ODI Review: England come one step closer to achieving a white wash

Marsh feels that Starc and Hazlewood’s absence will provide an ideal opportunity for other fast bowlers to impress selectors. Australia have had a tough time dealing with injuries. Starc himself missed a considerable amount of cricketing action due to a severe stress factor.

Apart from that the now-fit men like James Pattinson, Jackson Bird and couple of others also lost their place in the team due to injuries in the past. Marsh added that with a number of bowlers coming back from injury, it’s important for the national team to continue to build up a pool of quality fast-bowlers.

Nathan Coulter-Nile was ruled out earlier this week for an indefinite spell after leaving home early from the Sri Lanka ODI series with a serious back injury. CA confirmed that Hazlewood will return home immediately from the Sri Lankan tour and Starc will remain in the side for the remaining ODI and two T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka.

The squad for South African tour will be announced after the final ODI against Sri Lanka. The tour will consist of an ODI against Ireland and five against South Africa, with the first clash against Ireland commencing September 27.

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