Former Australian Test captain Tim Paine has named Jyhye Richardson as the Test bolter he'd like to see play red-ball cricket for Australia this summer. Australia is gearing up for two Test series against Pakistan and West Indies and Paine wants to see the bowling stocks rotated on the back of a gruelling cricket year.
While Australia's fast bowling stocks are not in short supply with Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Scott Boland all fit and in form, Australia has already played a four-Test series against India, the Ashes and an ODI World Cup and may look to give some of their bowlers some much-needed rest.
The former Test captain would love to see the re-emergence of Richardson if he can stay fit and healthy. "What I'd like to see ... but he needs to be on the park, and he needs to be fit and bowling well (is Jhye Richardson)," Paine told SEN. "If you wanted to rest any of our fast bowlers, they've had a huge workload again, I'd love to see Jhye Richardson back in the mix.
"He hasn't been on the field enough to push his case. But if he can get in some shape and bowl at his best, he's someone that I can certainly see playing a role for Australia at some stage, if his body holds up."
He is yet to play Sheffield Shield this season, with his last match for West Australia in November 2022. The 27-year-old has had a horror run of injuries in the last few years, returning in October from hamstring surgery for WA's second XI, only to then dislocate his shoulder while fielding.
He first dislocated his right shoulder while diving in the field during an ODI for Australia in March 2019 against Pakistan, with the injury ruling him out of the 2019 World Cup and the Ashes. Richardson eventually had surgery on the shoulder after further dislocations.
The paceman slowly clawed his way back to international cricket taking a maiden Test five-wicket haul against England in December 2021. Since then a series of soft tissue injuries has plagued his career and then suffered a serious hamstring injury in the Big Bash League last summer that required surgery.
Paine believes Pakistan series won't be as easy as many suggest
Many are expecting Australia to make light work of their Test opposition this summer but Paine says Pakistan will be far from light work. "I think there will be a little peak early because of the World Cup win," Paine said. "We play Pakistan first, that should be and could be a decent series.
"What I will say, I've said it a lot about Pakistan is they have the talent and they've got a new coaching structure, normally when something like that happens in Pakistan, they do perform for a little bit, but we'll wait and see."
Australia's series against Pakistan kicks off on December 14 in Perth for a three-Test series. The West Indies will be a two-Test series, with the first match starting on January 17 in Adelaide.
Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.