Key pacemen rested as Australia all but finalises its Ashes attack

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    Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood will go into the Ashes series with just one Sheffield Shield game under his belt since injury after being rested from next week’s round.

    Hazlewood will train alongside fellow rested pacemen Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird in Brisbane while the shield round is being played ahead of the first Test at the Gabba starting on November 23.

    It means he will have had very little match practice, having only made his representative return from a side strain suffered on the Bangladesh tour during NSW’s clash with WA this week, when he impressed while taking 3-24 and 3-49.

    Hazlewood had been expected to play in NSW’s Shield game against Queensland in Brisbane starting on Monday because the missed the opening shield round.

    However, Cricket Australia said the decision to withdraw him was taken in consultation with the player, coaching staff, selectors and team performance staff following a review of all the bowlers after the last round of shield which ended on Tuesday.

    The inclusion of Bird in the pace quartet to train at the National Cricket Centre next week indicates he’s likely to be 12th man for the Gabba Test and seen as first cab off the rank if any of the three frontliners – Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins – should break down during the series.

    © AAP 2017