Over the past year and a half, Steve Smith and David Warner have been the dominant figures for Australia as far as runs are concerned. With the team relying heavily on two players to take them over the finishing line, the results have not gone to plan either with Australia drawing the recent Test series in Bangladesh and losing the ODI series against India 1-4. This trend has resulted in Josh Hazlewood calling for younger batsmen to step up.
“When they put up those stats up of hundreds scored over the last three or four years, it really does show that Smith and Warner score the bulk of those,” Hazlewood told Sky Sports Radio. “I think it’s a case of a couple of young guys standing up.”
Hazlewood reckons Usman Khawaja would be in line for an Ashes comeback after being dropped in Bangladesh. “It’s going to be a big series for Usman Khawaja. He’s obviously fantastic on home soil, he’s very confident of his ability here,” he said. “I think (Peter) Handscomb and (Matt) Renshaw can hopefully stand up and put some big scores on the board. Take that bit of pressure off the skipper and vice-captain.”
Despite concerns over their own batting, Australia would be considered strong favourites in their home conditions especially with England not going all guns blazing with the bat themselves. To add to their woes, Ben Stokes could be an absentee following a night out brawl which is currently being investigated by the police.