Mitchell Johnson may have to wait, says Arthur
Australian coach Mickey Arthur says Pat Cummins is an exciting young talent and experienced paceman Mitchell Johnson might have to wait his turn to regain his place in the side.
Cummins and 30-year-old Johnson broke down with foot injuries during Australia’s Test tour of South Africa in November and have been recalled to the national squad for the one-day tour of Ireland and England in June-July.
The inconsistent Johnson is a former ICC player of the year, but Cummins is the team’s real excitement machine according to Arthur.
Cummins took seven wickets in his Test debut in Johannesburg as an 18-year-old in November.
“The player I am most excited about though is Pat Cummins,” Arthur told Cricket Australia’s website on Tuesday.
“We all saw what he could do in his one-and-only Test match and to have him back in the mix is fantastic.
“He has the ability to become one of the best in the world. He and ‘Patto’ (fellow quick James Pattinson) will take a huge amount out of this tour.
“We hope they both will be firing this time next year when we go to England to claim the Ashes back and drawing on the experience of touring the UK before will certainly give them an edge.
“Mitchell Johnson returns as well and we can’t wait to have him back around the group.
“He may have to wait his turn, though, as we are taking such a talented group of bowlers on the tour with us.”
Young legspinning allrounder Steve Smith has also been recalled to the one-day side.
“He is a talented cricketer who has the ability to do all three disciplines well. He will get an opportunity on this tour and let’s hope that he grasps it with both hands,” Arthur said.
Arthur has given another vote of confidence to ex-skipper Ricky Ponting, saying a stable batting lineup is crucial.
The 37-year-old averaged only 24.33 on the recent West Indies Test tour.
Openers Ed Cowan and David Warner also averaged under 30 against Test cricket’s seventh-ranked side.
“I am very happy with where our Test team is headed,” Arthur said.
“Continuity in selection and role clarity is so important in creating team culture and I know that all players now know where and how they fit in.
“We have a settled top six now and, together, this unit has played seven Test matches.
“Yes, we would have liked more runs from all of them but conditions were tough and I think we saw enough growth in technique and temperament to be excited.”
Third-ranked Australia host second-ranked South Africa in a Test series in November.© AAP 2013
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