Great calls for shock Ashes shake-up
WE'VE barely seen the finish of the first Test, but there's already calls to rest Australia's pacemen.
Former Aussie fast bowler Rodney Hogg suggested the Aussies give young gun Pat Cummins a spot on the bench for the Adelaide Test after revealing the 24-year-old's lacklustre bowling average with the pink ball.
Cummins played a vital role in Australia's 10-wicket thrashing of England at the Gabba, taking three first innings wickets and hitting a handy 42 alongside Steve Smith as the skipper brought up the only century of the match.
Despite his work horse role helping Australia take an early lead in the series, Hogg says Cummins' previous efforts in day-night matches could see him rested to make way for Adelaide-born swing bowler Chadd Sayers.
"I saw some stats on who has bowled with the pink ball and what they've done and Cummins has an average of 46," Hogg said.
"If you look at that stat, you may sort of think 'we'll give Sayers a go and Cummins a rest this Test'."
Sayers was called into the Aussie squad for the First Test after shining in the Sheffield Shield with an incredible 46-wicket season for South Australia last summer.
Former Redback Ryan Harris found it difficult to see the selectors making a change.
"It's going to be very hard to change the line-up, especially after what happened in Brisbane," Harris said.
"(Sayers) deserves to be around that squad. His figures in Adelaide and Shield cricket in general the last few years have been phenomenal. It's a tough one. He's very good in day-night stuff (but) he hasn't got that pace.
"There's also Jackson Bird, who has bowled so well for so long, who Sayers has to leapfrog to get that chance. It's a very big dilemma for Australian selectors."
England's Ashes struggle began long before they stepped off the plane in Brisbane as star all-rounder Ben Stokes found himself in a drunken street brawl in September.
The 26-year-old was withdrawn from the squad and slashed of his vice-captain duties as England prepared to take revenge over Australia following a humiliating 5-0 thrashing last time they sailed to Aussie shores.
The Lions needed their gun No. 6 more than ever as they copped a 10-wicket beating at the Gabba last week to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
In a surprising turn of events, Stokes landed in New Zealand on Wednesday as news broke of his signing to South Island club Canterbury, prompting speculation of his return for England as soon as the Third Test in Perth.
Stokes' potential return has given England another unwanted headache as they prepare to make shifts in their batting order ahead of a testing day-nighter at the Adelaide Oval.
Former Aussie fast bowler Ryan Harris said the polarising all-rounder should count his lucky stars after being able to leave England while still under police investigation.
"Should he be playing? Probably not," the 38-year-old told SEN's The Run Home.
Harris said if Stokes were an Aussie, he'd have been dropped from the Test side indefinitely.
"If he's able to leave the country and do all that sort of stuff, he's probably done nothing wrong. The video we've all seen says differently, but according to the authorities he hasn't."
Harris, who helped Mitchell Johnson skittle the Poms in the 2013/14 Ashes, said the current side was waiting for the opportunity to take on the fiery Stokes as soon as possible.
"The Australian team are waiting for him to turn up and play," Harris said. "No doubt they (England) will need him."