Pattinson in for Starc in Australia lineup vs West Indies
HOBART, Australia (AP) Fast bowler James Pattinson will replace the injured Mitchell Starc in Australia's team for the first test against the West Indies beginning Thursday.
Australia captain Steve Smith said Wednesday that Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood and Peter Siddle will form the hosts' pace attack. Pattinson, who returns for his first test since March 2014, edged out Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will be 12th man.
Starc sustained stress fracture in his right foot in the final test against New Zealand and will not play in any of the three tests against the West Indies. The teams play the second test beginning Dec. 26 in Melbourne and conclude the series in Sydney from Jan. 3.
''I think he has played enough, he has been bowling really well, he deserves his chance,'' Smith said of Pattinson. ''He just needs to go out and do what he does well. He is similar to Hazlewood the way he bowls. Hopefully those two can lead the attack well.''
Smith said the Australian batting order would remain the same despite speculation that wicketkeeper Peter Nevill would replace allrounder Mitch Marsh at No. 6.
''He's there to do a job, to score runs for the team,'' Smith said of Marsh. ''Hopefully he plays his natural game.''
The West Indies lost its only tour match by 10 wickets to a Cricket Australia XI featuring six players making their first-class debuts. The Caribbean side has not won an overseas test series against any team except Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in 20 years.
Former West Indies paceman Curtly Ambrose, now a bowling consultant with the team, said he criticized the players following the loss in the four-day tour match.
''I explained to the guys in no uncertain terms that that's unacceptable,'' Ambrose said.
And he cautioned observers not to be too critical of his side.
''We're not going to worry about what has been said about us not being a good team or not going to compete, games being over in three days and all that,'' Ambrose said. ''We're going to take them and turn them into positives.''
Cricket fans in Hobart have shown lackluster interested in the match, with just over 15,000 tickets sold for the first four days. The Tasmanian capital has hosted 11 tests since its first against Sri Lanka in 1989, with the average attendance about 21,000.
Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.
West Indies (from): Jason Holder (captain), Kragg Brathwaite, Devandra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Jomel Warrican.