Oz pacers face 'Taming of the Shoe'
Baffled by the spate of injuries that has sidelined its young crop of pacers, Cricket Australia is investigating whether the boots these bowlers use are causing the foot problems that have ruined their season.
Young fast bowlers Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Josh Hazlewood are all nursing foot injuries and incidentally use the same brand of boots.
Australia Team Performance Manager Pat Howard said though the footwear is not yet been declared the reason for the injuries but it is one of the potential causes that are being investigated.
'Everything needs to be reviewed as part of the bigger picture'
"It's a fair question, we're not suggesting it is the reason, but it is something that has to be reviewed as part of the overall," Howard told ESPNCricinfo.
"Workloads, body management, history, age, footwear, all those things have got to be reviewed as part of the bigger picture."
"There's lots of people wearing Asics that haven't had that problem. It is definitely being reviewed, but the reality is they're all young men and it is also about how much bowling have they done in the lead-up to this period (to getting injured)," he added.
Cummins, Pattinson out of action
Cummins is battling heel pain since his Test debut against South Africa in Johannesburg and has also shown signs of stress fractures.
Pattinson, who has 25 wickets in four Tests also complained of foot pain during the second Test of the ongoing series against India.
He was ruled out after scans revealed stress hot spots in the metatarsal bone.
Hazlewood is out of action for the remainder of the domestic summer due to a fracture in his left foot.Asics boots have long been the preferred footwear of fast bowlers in Australia and England.
Image: Pat Cummins
Photographs: Getty Images
'Workload had been very high for the likes of Pattinson'
Howard, meanwhile, asserted that the CA's support staff is doing all it can to back the pacer.
"We have changed the mandate for what we look for out of different series," Howard said.
"What we have done well and the selectors and the coaches and the medical staff have worked really hard on, is having Mitchell Starc and Ryan Harris there around the Test team."
"They were coming into the squad in Sydney, bowling in the nets in Melbourne, we wanted these guys in and around because we knew the workloads had been very high for the likes of James Pattinson and we had to make sure players were ready to go," he added.