Pace aces likely trump cards in Bangladesh

Rob Forsaith
Joe Burns and David Warner opened Australia's batting against Pakistan and New Zealand this summer

Australia's pace aces fuelled an unprecedented domination of the home summer, now selectors will give due consideration to bucking the trend and unleashing them in Bangladesh.

Clinical 2-0 and 3-0 series wins over Pakistan and New Zealand respectively marked the first time that Australia have won every Test in a home summer inside four days.

Marnus Labuschagne rightly made headlines for a record-breaking mountain of runs but Australia's bowling attack, touted as the world's best by Nathan Lyon, were also unstoppable.

Across the past 12 months of Test cricket, Australia have claimed 234 out of a possible 240 wickets.

Superstars Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson have been irrepressible during that stretch.

It sets the stage for a fascinating selection showdown in June, when Australia travel to Bangladesh for their next Test series.

Selectors, whose more pressing focus is on next week's ODI tour of India, have opted for at least two spinners in their Test XI on recent trips to Asia.

Cummins served as the only fast bowler in an attack featuring Lyon, Steve O'Keefe and Ashton Agar during Australia's previous Test in Bangladesh.

But coach Justin Langer, who suggested on Tuesday that selectors are unlikely to tinker with the top six or adopt a horses-for-courses mentality on the subcontinent trip, has treasured memories of a landmark 2004 triumph in India.

A pace battery of Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie and Michael Kasprowicz played all four Tests on that tour, helping Australia end a 35-year wait for a series win in the country.

"We'll look at the conditions. I remember when Australia won after many, many years in India that it was on the back of some very, very disciplined fast bowling," Langer said.

"It could happen, it'd be so hard to leave out one of those three or four bowlers.

"We'll look at that ... it also helps with Marnus bowling legspin and Travis Head being able to bowl a few overs as well."

Uncapped legspinner Mitchell Swepson is fully expected to be retained in the Test squad but his wait for a baggy green may continue.

Trevor Hohns' panel will almost certainly include an allrounder.

Mitch Marsh, Moises Henriques, 20-year-old Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis are all obvious candidates but have all recently done little bowling.

"The reality is none of our allrounders are bowling. Moises doesn't bowl a lot, we'll probably talk to him about bowling as much as he can," Langer said.

"Marcus isn't bowling at the moment because of his foot.

"Mitch Marsh hasn't been bowling much ... Green has a stress fracture in his back."

Joe Burns, having scored 159 Test runs at 22.71 from seven innings since an impressive 97 at the Gabba, would appear to be the incumbent batsman with the most to worry about.

But Langer will be reluctant to change a winning side, admitting "in the spirit of that continuity it'd be hard to break up that (current) squad".