Border urges Aussie selectors to deploy 'Mitchells-pace duo' to win back Ashes
Former Test skipper Allan Border has urged Australian cricket selectors to deploy the Mitchell Starc-Mitchell Johnson left-arm alliance as part of a long-term pace strategy to win back the Ashes.
Johnson has a golden opportunity to reignite his flagging baggy-green career with the venomous but unpredictable left-armer in line to replace the injured Ben Hilfenhaus (side strain) for the second Test against Sri Lanka starting Boxing Day.
Border said Johnson, who has 196 Test scalps from 48 Tests at 31.17, deserves his chance ahead of Jackson Bird for Boxing Day after his six-wicket haul against South Africa in Perth filling in for the injured Peter Siddle.
"For me it's Mitch Johnson as the obvious choice (to replace Hilfenhaus)," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Border, as saying.
"Peter Siddle is leading the attack well and I would like to see Mitchell Johnson come in to complement him," he added.
According to the paper, long-term left-arm bowling partnerships are rare in the Test arena, but there is a view the fusion of Johnson's venom and Starc's pace and height can provide Australia's attack with a new dimension with the Ashes looming.
Border likes what he sees from the developing Starc, who has now claimed five-wicket hauls in consecutive Tests and boasts 24 victims at 29.21, the paper said.
"I think Starc has been a real revelation and one for the future, he is only young so I like what I saw from him in this Test," he said.
"I just like Starc for the future. He's 21, he's got all the right attributes, he's very athletic, he is going to be expensive because he is young but he will tighten up," he added.