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Rotation policy dead and buried: McGrath

AAP logoAAP 1/01/2017 Darren Walton

Pace great Glenn McGrath has declared Australian cricket's controversial rotation policy dead and buried as tearaway quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood revel in colossal workloads.

With coach Darren Lehmann already kyboshing any talk of Starc or Hazlewood missing the dead-rubber third Test against Pakistan starting on Tuesday, McGrath has welcomed an end to the days of resting Australia's premier quicks.

So far this summer Starc and Hazlewood have bowled a mammoth 222.2 and 228.2 overs respectively in Australia's five Tests, taking 26 and 25 wickets each, compared to spinner Nathan Lyon's relatively leisurely 174 overs for 11 wickets in return.

But despite the physical toll their gruelling workloads have taken, McGrath believes emphatically that the days of rotating the pace attack are over.

"If you asked both of those guys, they would definitely say no (to having a rest)," McGrath said on Sunday.

"If they offered that to me when I was playing, I would have not even considered even answering.

"To play a Test match - one Test for your country - is incredible. To be left out of a Test, to be rested, is nearly unheard of.

"Yeah, there's a lot of cricket coming up but Josh Hazlewood's bowling incredibly well. You want him to keep that momentum going.

"Mitchell Starc really bowled well that last day (in the second Test in Melbourne). The way he batted, I think, gave him that bit of confidence and it would be good to continue (carrying) that confidence into the Third Test.

"So I'll be disappointed if any of the guys, especially those two guys, are rested from this Test."

McGrath's forthright stance on the matter came on the same day Cricket Australia's high performance manager Pat Howard dubbed the so-called rotation policy a media myth.

"There's never, ever, ever, ever, ever been a policy," Howard told AAP.

Howard explained that the term was born from a throwaway line used by then-chairman of selectors John Inverarity in 2013, during Mickey Arthur's coaching reign when the South African's preference was to rotate bowlers.

Howard said Starc and Hazlewood were "good to go" for the third Test at the SCG and that even with a four-Test tour of India looming next month, there was never a time to rest or rotate players anyway.

"We looked after bowlers in South Africa (during a one-day series in October) and we were heavily criticised for it," he said.

"We've been playing continuously for three and a half years so it's not just India," he said.

"There's the IPL (coming up), there's Champions Trophy, then there's Bangladesh (after this year's Ashes series), then we're back into a home summer.

"So there's no break."

AUSTRALIA'S MAIN THREE BOWLERS IN THIS SUMMMER'S TESTS

v SOUTH AFRICA (three Tests)

Nathan Lyon - 77 overs, 6-287

Josh Hazlewood - 101.3 overs, 8-210

Mitchell Starc - 102.2 overs, 12-343

v PAKISTAN (two Tests)

Lyon - 97 overs, 5-346

Hazlewood - 126.5 overs, 17-375

Starc - 120 overs, 14-422

OVERALL

Lyon - 174 overs, 11-633

Starc - 222.2 overs, 26-765

Hazlewood - 228.2 overs, 25-585

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