Jhye Richardson is painfully aware that the depth in Australian fast bowling means his five-wicket haul in the second Ashes Test is far from a guarantee that he will take the field in the third. Richardson came into the side for the Adelaide Oval clash with Michael Neser to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood and skipper Pat Cummins, who was ruled out after being adjudged a close contact of a COVID-19 case.
The personnel changes made no difference to Australia’s utter dominance of the series and Richardson took 5-42 in the final innings as the hosts romped to a victory by 275 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the series on Monday. Cummins and Hazlewood, ranked first and fourth in the world rankings, will return to the squad on Thursday ahead of the Boxing Day Test and Richardson was philosophical about retaining his place in the side at Melbourne Cricket Ground.
“The beauty of Australian cricket at the moment is we’ve got fast bowling stocks for days,” the relatively diminutive paceman told reporters. “I think that’s a wonderful problem for the selectors to have. Whatever happens, happens. I had unfortunate first innings and then bowled a little bit better second innings. I’m happy to go either way. As long as we’re winning, then that’s all we can ask for,” he added.
Playing his first Test in nearly three years after a prolonged recovery from a shoulder problem, Richardson conceded that he had struggled to make the step up in England’s first innings as he went for 78 runs without a wicket in 19 overs. His ability to bowl straight and get the ball to skid along the deteriorating Adelaide surface played an integral role in ending a spirited English rearguard, however, and Richardson felt it might be effective late on in other Tests in the series.
”If my job is to hit the stumps, then that’s what I’m going to try and do,” he said. “Potentially being a little bit skiddier on wickets that are up-and-down, that may be an advantage. Somewhere like (Sydney Cricket Ground) as well could be an advantage on day four and five when it starts to go up and down. Having those variations in the team is very important,” he added.