By Ian Ransom
ADELAIDE (Reuters) – Australia called up uncapped paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile for the first test against West Indies on Tuesday as a replacement for left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc, who was ruled out of the series due to a broken foot.
The 28-year-old Western Australian comes into the 12-man squad for first of three tests in the series against the Caribbean Islanders, which starts at Bellerive Oval Hobart a week on Thursday.
Coulter-Nile, who has played 13 one-day internationals and 11 Twenty20s for Australia, is short on match practice after being suspended from his most recent Sheffield Shield outing for showing dissent to an umpire.
Chief selector Rod Marsh said the need for pace was a consideration after the loss of Starc and retirement of Mitchell Johnson after the second test against New Zealand in Perth.
“Once Mitchell Starc went down, I think everyone’s mind turned straight to Nathan Coulter-Nile,” he told reporters at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.
“I guess we’re at the situation now where because of the two Mitchells, one retiring and one being injured, that we do need a bit of pace up front.
“That doesn’t guarantee him a game in Hobart but he’s in the 12.”
James Pattinson looks certain to join Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood in the pace attack after being called into the squad for the final test against New Zealand in the wake of Mitchell Johnson’s retirement.
“It’d be nice to see ‘Patto’ back to where he was, he’s a boy that once he steps over that boundary rope, you’d rather him on your side than theirs,” said Marsh. “He’s a beauty.”
Australia won the Adelaide test on Sunday to clinch the series 2-0.
Right-armer Coulter-Nile’s best chance of a start in Hobart is if Australia decide to rest Hazlewood, who played all three tests against New Zealand.
Concerns about his workload have led to uncapped 26-year-old Victorian Scott Boland, another right-armer, being put on standby for the Hobart test.
“It’ll be very difficult for Josh to get through six test matches this summer and then go to New Zealand and play two more,” Marsh said, adding that selector Trevor Hohns had been impressed by Boland after watching him in three Shield games.
“He’s been a bit of a sleeper … One of the state coaches said to me that when he bowls and your team is batting, you never feel comfortable.”
Squad: Steve Smith (captain), David Warner, Joe Burns, Adam Voges, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill (wicketkeeper), Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Nathan Lyon.
(Additional reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)