Cricket - Australia's bowling options

James Pattinson's tour-ending back injury means under-pressure Australia must make at least one enforced change as they try to stop England winning the Ashes in the third Investec Test at Old Trafford.

PA Sport
Cricket - Australia's bowling options
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Mitchell Starc looks set to be recalled at Old Trafford

Here, we assess the Aussies' options to bolster their attack next week.

MITCHELL STARC

The left-armer was the fall-guy of Trent Bridge, dropped for Lord's despite having taken five wickets in the first Test. Starc was notable among the tailenders as the only one who made no significant runs in Nottingham. But he is known to be very handy with the bat, and more importantly can swing the ball. His return is by far the likeliest of Australia's possible Manchester manoeuvres.

NATHAN LYON

Usurped by debutant Ashton Agar at Trent Bridge - and after the teenager's 98 from number 11 in his maiden innings, it was no surprise there was no way back for Lyon in time for Lord's. The off-spinner has 76 wickets in 22 Tests, a record which suggests he could be well worth a go - either in place of or even in tandem with slow left-armer Agar - if it looks like there might be turn at Old Trafford.

JAMES FAULKNER

Another left-arm seamer, and another whose good batting may yet be a persuasive factor. The Tasmanian has played 11 times for his country in limited-overs matches, but has yet to make his Test debut - and his place in the squad this summer was a surprise to some. Faulkner's clever changes of pace and expert use of the white ball make him an increasingly surefire pick in the shorter formats. It will be a leap into the unknown to ask him to adapt them to five-day cricket in the middle of such a high-profile series, but he has highly-encouraging statistics for his very successful state side in 36 first-class matches to date.

JACKSON BIRD

Bird too has come to prominence with Tasmania, since moving from his native New South Wales. He averages under 20 with the ball, and has been a key member of a team who have recently been so dominant in Sheffield Shield cricket. Rare among Australia's tailenders, in that Bird looks a rabbit with the bat. But if he is the right man to get among the wickets in England, the tourists may have to budget for runs starting to come from more conventional sources at last.

AN OTHER

From outside Australia's squad in England, extra 'cover' could yet conceivably come from any one of four pace bowlers currently with the A team in South Africa - or even Pat Cummins, the quickest of the lot but in harness only as a 'development player' after his succession of injuries. Fawad Ahmed, the Pakistan-born leg-spinner whose eligibility was fast-tracked in time for this summer, just about remains one final intriguing possibility - if Australia decide they need something different to release England's stranglehold.

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