Captain Steve Smith said that he thought the combination of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood was the best option for the bouncy Gabba track.
The trio played the first four matches of the Ashes series and leaked runs. When the more frugal Siddle came in for Hazlewood in the last match it changed the chemistry of the attack, his control allowing Starc and Johnson to bowl with more freedom.
New Zealand have picked Doug Bracewell over Matt Henry as the third quick behind openers Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
“Peter Siddle will be the 12th man.”
- Smith said.
“It’s obviously disappointing for him he bowled extremely well in the last Test match at The Oval against England. But that’s the team we’ve gone with. Josh Hazlewood had a lot of success here last year against India and that’s the team we’ve gone with.
“Josh did a terrific job here last year and I think he’ll complement both the left-armers really well. Going to be a bit of extra pace and bounce on this wicket like we’d normally expect so that’s the XI we’ve gone with.”
The chosen three will test the visiting side with their bounce and pace. Johnson has reportedly bowled some scary spells of late, while Starc is in the form of his life.
Hazlewood made his debut in Brisbane last summer against the Indians and took five wickets in the first innings. Kiwi selectors were deciding between Bracewell and Henry for their pace attack.
“It was a bit of a coin toss with them but we were comfortable either way,” NZ skipper Brendon McCullum said today.
“They’re both very similar bowlers. We just thought Doug was bowling a touch better at this time.”
All-rounder James Neesham will bat at No. 6 with keeper BJ Watling at No.7. Meanwhile, McCullum revealed he’d spoken with David Warner today.
Warner had been highly critical of a column that McCullum wrote during the Ashes.
“I’ve caught up with Davey downstairs,” McCullum said.
He’s a guy who I’d pay to watch play. I’ve got a whole lot of respect for Davey Warner. I’ve got a huge amount of admiration for him and Steve Smith.
Australian Test side: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Joe Burns, Josh Hazlewood, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges. 12th man: Peter Siddle.
Source - The Australian