Jhye Richardson will have to get used to South Africans asking him how to pronounce his first name.
Richardson‚ a 21-year-old Western Australia fast bowler‚ has been named in Australia’s squad for the series of four Tests that they will play in SA in March and April.
He has played only five first-class matches and is‚ in his own words‚ as reported by ESPNCricinfo, "only 70-odd kilos and 178cm tall‚ so I’m not the biggest unit around".
Little wonder that he lists another humanly proportioned fast bowler as an inspiration: "Someone like Dale Steyn‚ he’s proved to everyone that you don’t have to be tall and you don’t have to be a solid bloke to be able to run in‚ bowl fast and bowl well."
Richardson has beaten Mitchell Starc‚ Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins on the speed gun in the same match‚ and he has already claimed 21 wickets — and scored a half-century — in first-class cricket.
His inclusion would seem to be part of the Aussies’ plan‚ much like the visiting Indians‚ to pack their squad with fast bowlers: six of the 15 players are quicks. That has meant there is no room for Glenn Maxwell‚ the off-spinning allrounder‚ and medium pacer Chadd Sayers — who both came close to playing in this summer’s Ashes.
Almost all of the Australians will arrive fresh in SA‚ what with David Warner the only member of the squad who will also play in the upcoming T20s against England and New Zealand.
The Test series starts at Kingsmead on March 1 and by April 3 — when the rubber is scheduled to end at the Wanderers — maybe we will know how to say Jhye.
Australia Test squad: Steven Smith (captain)‚ David Warner‚ Cameron Bancroft‚ Jackson Bird‚ Pat Cummins‚ Peter Handscomb‚ Josh Hazlewood‚ Jon Holland‚ Usman Khawaja‚ Nathan Lyon‚ Mitchell Marsh‚ Shaun Marsh‚ Tim Paine‚ Jhye Richardson‚ Mitchell Starc