Australia batsman Matthew Wade says Jhye Richardson is primed for an imminent return to international cricket after witnessing the right-arm quick continue his destructive Big Bash League form.
Richardson claimed 4-33 to help the Perth Scorchers to a crucial 22-run win over Wade's Hobart Hurricanes in Melbourne on Friday, locking in a finals spot.
In the process, he dismissed Wade when offered a simple return catch in the first over.
The four-wicket haul gave Richardson a BBL-best 25 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 10.2 this season, after putting two years of shoulder injury trouble behind him.
The 24-year-old has played two Tests, 13 ODIs and nine T20Is for Australia, but has not featured in international cricket since March last year.
Wade tipped the West Australian would be part of Australia's upcoming Test tour of South Africa or white-ball trip to New Zealand.
"He's going to be a star," Wade said.
"We've got great fast bowlers now ... but those guys that aren't in the Test team are good enough to play in a lot of other international teams.
"I can't see him going backwards at any stage and I think he's become a better player over the last 12 or 18 months.
"There was a lot of talk about him when he started playing for Australia, but from what I've seen and what I've faced, he finds a way."
Richardson faces a tough ask to break into a Test bowling attack featuring Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc.
Michael Neser, James Pattinson and Sean Abbott are also on the fringes, highlighting Australia's depth.
"(Richardson) is as good as all the bowlers that aren't playing," Wade said.
"You know the guys that are playing are world class and they're the best that we've probably had for a long time.
"But he's right up there with the guys that aren't playing, that's for sure."
Richardson, who hasn't played first-class cricket since November 2019, will back up in the BBL when the Scorchers take on the Melbourne Stars on Saturday.
"That will be a good little introduction to see if the shoulder and the body are capable of back-to-back days," he said.
"(International selection) would be great if it happens, but if not, then I've got a pretty high-class tournament to focus on here.
"So the focus for me is just to get up and about for tomorrow and hopefully take a few more wickets."
Australian Associated Press