Australian captain Pat Cummins has confirmed the replacement for Josh Hazlewood in the second Test and whether opener David Warner will play.
Rocking Test batter Marnus Labuschagne with a body blow in the Adelaide nets on Tuesday was more evidence of the “seriously scary” stuff fast bowler Jhye Richardson could dish out after being called up for the second Ashes Test.
Australian captain Pat Cummins confirmed Richardson would replace fast bowler Josh Hazlewood in the day-night clash with England after he was ruled out with a side strain.
West Australian quick Richardson has made a stunning return to red-ball cricket after two years of serious shoulder issues, taking 23 wickets at just 13.43 in four Sheffield Shield matches this summer.
But he was the only change to the Australian team, with Cummins backing opener David Warner to fight through the pain of a rib injury that he sustained in the opening clash in Brisbane.
Warner didn’t face any bowlers in a 30-minute net session on Tuesday night in Adelaide, but Cummins said he’d fight through the pain to play.
“He’ll be right, he had a bat yesterday, batted with some discomfort, but knowing Davey, he’s not going to miss this one,” Cummins said on Wednesday afternoon
“He’ll be fine when the adrenaline kicks in.
“It’s one thing batting in the nets, different thing with a packed crowd.
“He didn’t have painkillers, he’s played close to 90 Tests. I’m sure a lot of them have been played with discomfort or things going into the game.”
Cummins said Richardson was “better” than when he made his Test debut in 2019 despite battling debilitating shoulder injuries that limited his output over the past two seasons, costing him a shot at the 2019 one-day World Cup and Ashes series in England.
“He was on the verge of an Ashes series and a World Cup before he had his shoulder injury. He’s worked incredibly hard, had a great start to his year for WA. We think he’s firing,” Cummins said.
“He’s taken his time, even last year he battled in the field but was one of the main bowlers in the Big Bash. I think he’s better, he’s got more control, all the skills, and is a little bit older.
“He can swing the ball both ways, he’s faster than you think. He’s really consistent. In Shield cricket he’s bowled 20 overs for 20 runs in some matches.
“We feel really confident Jhye is going to step straight in.”
His WA teammate Cameron Green, who stepped up to the bowling plate himself in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane, gave Richardson the ultimate endorsement too.
Green said Richardson was “a level above” state cricket and should add to his two-Test career.
“He’s been unreal for WA back at Shield level,” Green told the Unplayable Podcast.
“He’s been so relentless with his line and length and everyone can see the skill that he’s got.
“He’s been going at about one an over in the games he’s been playing for us and taking a lot of wickets as well. It feels like he’s a level above state cricket and he’s ready for Test cricket again.
“He’s a level above with that accuracy that he’s got.
“Out and out ‘Richo’ with pace is seriously scary. But he’s probably brought that (pace) a little bit back to be consistent. With all the skills he’s got as well he doesn’t really need it.
“In saying that, Richo dialling it back is still probably 140(km/h). I can’t wait to see him if he plays.”
Richardson, 25, has bulked up since he weighed just 75kg on Test debut nearly three years ago against Sri Lanka.