In the continuing story of Australia's wealth of experience walking off the field into the arms of retirement, Mitchell Johnson bid farewell to his adopted home ground of recent years -- the WACA -- as the second Test against New Zealand ended in a draw on Tuesday.
Following on from the loss of spearhead bowlers Brett Lee and Ryan Harris in recent times, the Australian team is now having to cope with the unexpected departure of the veteran quick with one more game to go in the Test series against the Black Caps.
While selector Rod Marsh has admitted to a youth policy in team selection moving forward, Australia's impressive but relatively inexperienced bowling stocks will be taking on an unenviable workload heading into an Australia summer of cricket.
Starc and Hazelwood are the current pacemen in the squad, with backup from all-rounder Mitch Marsh. On Wednesday morning, 25-year-old James Pattinson was named as one of three new inclusions in place of Johnson, with Shaun Marsh being selected to cover the injured Khawaja and Steve O'Keefe added to the team to back up Nathan Lyon as an extra spinner in anticipation of the Adelaide pitch in the third Test in 10 days time.
Pattinson has struggled with injury since his Test debut in 2011 -- the curse of many a fast bowler in early years of development -- but has said in recent weeks he is ready for a return to the Test team for this summer season.
While the traditionally quick WACA pitch has come under some scrutiny during the second Test, it is the red Kookaburra balls that bore the brunt of the criticism in the match which ended in a draw.
The third and final Test against New Zealand in Adelaide will bring into play a couple of new elements for players to contend with -- the inaugural day/night format and, as a consequence, the new pink cricket ball will see its debut on the international arena.
Meanwhile it will be a new phase in the 'new look' Australian team under captain Steve Smith and Cricket Australia is looking to Adelaide with great anticipation for the historic Test beginning on November 27th.Suggest a correction