India vs Australia: Josh Hazlewood set to miss first Test
In what can be called a major blow to the Australian team, pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the first Test of the upcoming four-match series against India. As per Cricbuzz, the fast bowler has not yet recovered from an Achilles injury on his left leg. He, hence, is doubtful for the second Test as well. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- The four-match series gets underway on February 9 in Nagpur.
- Stakes are incredibly high as Australia need at least a draw to qualify for the ICC World Test Championship final without depending on other results.
- Hazlewood has been a vital cog of Australia's bowling attack ever since his debut, and his potential absence from the first half of the series can hurt the visitors.
Hazlewood missed the practice session
Hazlewood sustained the injury during the Sydney Test versus South Africa last month. The fast bowler didn't take an active part in Australia's pre-series camp at the KSCA Stadium Alur. "Not sure about the first Test. It's still a few days away but it's sneaking up pretty quickly. Second one is obviously straight after as well," Hazlewood said on Sunday (February 5).
Wasn't recovering as well as I would have liked: Hazlewood
"Just a bit of workload management at the moment," Hazlewood said when asked about his lack of participation in the training sessions. "I was bowling a fair bit leading into the tour at home and sort of just pushing up against it. Probably wasn't recovering as well as I would have liked between each session." "It's still lingering from the (Sydney) Test match probably."
Four Tests in two years for Hazlewood
Injuries have indeed troubled Hazlewood in the longest format as he has played just four Tests in the last two years. In this period, he hasn't played more than one Test in a series. He played the opening home Test against West Indies in December last year and subsequently missed three Tests. Hazlewood then returned for the Sydney Test, where he got injured again.
A look at Hazlewood's Test career
Hazlewood made his Test debut in December 2014 against India and bagged a five-wicket haul. He has so far played 59 Tests, scalping a total of 222 wickets at 25.83. The tally includes nine five-wicket hauls. Against India, he owns 51 wickets in 15 Tests at 26.94. Interestingly, four of his nine Test five-fors have been recorded against the Indian team.
Mitchell Starc ruled out of the opener
Besides Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc's unavailability for the first Test is confirmed as the left-arm pacer continues to recover from his tendon damage. All-rounder Cameron Green won't be bowling in the first Test either. Hence, pacer Scott Boland seems set to play his maiden overseas Test. Ashton Agar, skipper Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon are likely to be Australia's other specialist bowlers for the opener.
Australia's Test squad for the tour of India
Australia's Test squad: Pat Cummins (captain), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vice-catpain), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.