Bowling dilemma for Aussie coach


The tourists will leave the Caribbean for Britain on Tuesday charged with confidence after completing a convincing 2-0 sweep of West Indies with a 277-run victory in the second Test.

Right-arm quick Josh Hazlewood was named Australia's 'man of the series' after taking 12 wickets at 8.83 over the two matches, including his second five-wicket haul in just five Tests for his country.

Left-armer Mitch Starc continued where he left off with the white ball at the World Cup, where he was named 'man of the tournament', by taking 10 wickets at 16 apiece against West Indies.

Reigning ICC Cricketer of the Year Mitchell Johnson (seven wickets at 18.62 in the series) and stalwart Peter Siddle are also in the party and the injury-prone but often brilliant Ryan Harris is set to join the squad in England.

“Those guys have given us a massive headache - albeit a good one - and we have a really tough decision to make when it comes to picking the side for the first test in Cardiff,” he wrote in a column on the Cricket Australia website.

“Two of those five guys are going to be unbelievably unlucky to miss out, but that's what happens when you're playing good cricket. You have to make those hard decisions.

“We just have to pick the right three fast bowlers to take the 20 wickets in that first Test.

“And that's not to say we'll play those three all series, but we'll just pick the XI for that match and go from there.”

Hazlewood has never bowled a red ball in anger in English conditions and will be keen to prove he can generate pace and bounce on the grassy pitches there as he did on the sluggish Caribbean tracks.

The 24-year-old will have his chance when Australia play four-day tour matches against Kent and Essex in the run-up to the first Test on July 8.

“The two tour matches leading into the series will play a big part in our thinking,” Lehmann added.

“We need to see how the bowlers pull up and how they bowl in the different conditions, on different pitches and with the different ball.”

Overall, there is no doubt Australia are in much better shape than when Lehmann led them to England for the first time in 2013 after a 4-0 humiliation in India and the sacking of Mickey Arthur. They lost 3-0.

“We're not far off but we know we have to raise the bar to win over there,” Lehmann said.

“We haven't done it for 14 years and that's our goal.” – Reuters

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