Cowan dropped, Bird misses

Written By miftah nugraha on Kamis, 18 Juli 2013 | 19.55

Ed Cowan watches as he is caught out by England's Jonathan Trott, right, during his second innings of the First Test. Picture: AFP

ED Cowan's Test career may be over after he was dropped for the second Test at Lord's beginning later today.

He has been replaced by fellow left hander Usman Khawaja, who has spent most of his first class and stop-start Test career at number three.

And the bowling attack has been freshened up, with Ryan Harris returning to replace Mitchell Starc.

It appears the selectors may have been spooked by the last Australian left armer to bowl at Lord's, Mitchell Johnson four years ago.

Johnson conceded 11 fours in his first eight overs as England raced to 0-126 at Lunch, setting up England's first win at Lord's against Australia since 1934.

Harris's control and his ability to bowl outswing at good pace has won him a place ahead of Jackson Bird in a tight call.

Cowan, 31, was always in trouble after a poor performance in the first Test at Trent Bridge, which Australia lost by just 14 runs.

Shuffled down to number three after Shane Watson and Chris Rogers were partnered at the top of the order, Cowan managed a first ball duck and 14, playing two loose drives to be dismissed.

Khawaja, 26, has played just six Tests, the last of them more than 18 months ago. He was dropped after Australia lost to New Zealand in Hobart, the first loss to New Zealand on home soil for 26 years.

A wonderfully talented left hander who was born in Pakistan but moved to Australia at the age of three, Khawaja has been criticised in the past for failing to rotate the strike.

In his last Test he took 51 balls scoring just seven and 48 balls scoring 23.

During 18 Tests Cowan's only century was a fine 136 against South Africa in Brisbane at the start of last summer.

However in his 10 Tests since Cowan has managed just three half centuries and his career average has fallen from 38 to 31.

It is still better than Khawaja's 29 from six Tests but he has never been given a decent run at Test cricket, playing mostly as an injury replacement.

There was a feeling the selectors may have waited until David Warner returned from the Australia A tour for the third Test before make a change, slotting him in at number six and pushing Phil Hughes to three.

Having selected Khawaja it is highly likely he will be given more than one Test to prove himself as Australia's next number three, making it even harder for Warner to return to the side following his four-week suspension for punching England's Joe Root in a Birmingham bar last month.

Harris, 33, has not played Test cricket for more than a year. His last match was in the West Indies before he was sidelined by a shoulder injury which threatened his career.

He returned for the end of the Sheffield Shield season and performed strongly, earning a place in the Ashes squad ahead of Mitchell Johnson, who had toured India.

Harris has an outstanding record but a career marred by injuries has restricted him to just 12 Tests. He has 47 wickets at an average of under 24.

Second Test team: Shane Watson, Chris Rogers, Usman Khawaja, Michael Clarke (c), Steve Smith, Phil Hughes, Brad Haddin, Ashton Agar, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Ryan Harris.

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