Northamptonshire (UK), July 26 (ANI): With just four days to go for the third Test at Edgbaston, Australia's cricket selectors have been placed in a quandry over what to do with their struggling left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
On Saturday, Northamptonshire batters carted Johnson for 42 runs in seven overs. To add insult to injury, Stuart Clark and Peter Siddle out bowled Johnson.
With Australia trailing in the ongoing Ashes series one-nil, the selectors, according to The Telegraph, are mindful of the fact that their bowling attack has to be in a position to take 20 English wickets, and on current evidence, it seems that Johnson may lose his place in the squad to Clark, who looks to have regained his zip after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.
Johnson was not entrusted with the new ball by stand-in captain Mike Hussey, an indication that a decision has been made to rest the 27 year-old at Edgbaston, or alternatively to bring him as the first change bowler.
In the match against Northamptonshire, Johnson was introduced in the 15th over, and both Alex Wakely and Riki Wessels - son of former Australia batsman Kepler, treated him with disdain.
Johnson's rhythm looked reasonable, but he did not come close to taking a wicket. He did not look the same bowler who troubled South Africa home and away just some months ago.
Clark was the pick of the trio. The 33 year-old has not played Test cricket since December, but it took him just five balls to strike.
He has 90 Test wickets at 22.96 apiece. He lacked zip in the earlier tour game at Hove, but in the match against the Northants, he bustled in eagerly.
Shane Watson also had his first spell of the tour after a thigh injury, and he bowled steadily. He took two wickets, although both were gifts with Wakely and Wessels playing dismal shots after making half-centuries.
Watson is an option, but the Australians continue to downplay the likelihood of wholesale changes. (ANI)