Another Australian blow as Hazlewood are left out of India’s first Test
Set small text size
Set default text size
Set large text size
Australia’s fast bowling stocks have been dealt another blow days away from the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, with Josh Hazlewood ruled out of the first Test against India with an Achilles injury.
Hazlewood will join Mitchell Starc (finger) on the sidelines for the opening match of the four-Test series at Nagpur, while the versatile Cameron Green (finger) has already been ruled out of bowling in the series opener and doubts to play.
With just three days between the first and second tests, Hazlewood is also doubtful for this last game as well.
The blow opens the door for Scott Boland to play his first test abroad, having won 28 wickets at 12.21 in six home matches.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Hazlewood hailed Boland as an ideal replacement, while flagging uncapped fast Lance Morris as an option to replace Starc.
“Scotty [Boland] played a lot at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, there was probably no swing or reverse swing, so he knows how to work hard for a long time,” Hazlewood said.
“You’ve got Lance Morris working hard on the reverse swing for the last month and then a nice break in here with a few sessions.
“The guys are first of all excited to play in the subcontinent, they both haven’t done it yet, but they’re very well qualified to do it.”
Hazlewood believes his Achilles tendon injury flared up while playing on swings in the rain at SCG during the New Year’s Test, which served as the New South Welshman’s comeback after a lateral strain suffered against the West Indies during the first test of the summer.
“We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the play-offs were quite soft from where we were taking off and they ended up replacing them as well,” Hazlewood said of bowling in Sydney a month ago.
“It kind of worked to some extent, but just that extra load jumping from soft ground to play bowl – and again, first test match [back from injury]your body is also not used to this kind of workload.
“I was bowling a bit before the [India] home tour and somehow just push against it. He was probably not recovering as well as I would have liked between each session.
“So I thought we’d give him a few days here off the bat and try to get over the hump, and have a bowl from Tuesday and hope it goes well.”
A regular on the Test team since his debut in 2014, the Hazlewood backhand continues a frustrating string of injuries dating back to 2019.
A combination of hamstring, lateral and now foot issues has limited him to just eight of Australia’s last 21 Tests, while also seeing him well behind captain Pat Cummins and Starc in the pecking order when Australia have chosen to bowl two bowlers on recent tours. from Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Cummins, Boland and Morris are currently the only in-form fast bowlers in the 18-man squad, with the Australians debating whether they should field a second or even third spinner alongside Nathan Lyon.
The complete Australian squad for the Indian series
Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc , Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.