IND vs AUS: Josh Hazlewood ruled out of Test series
In a major blow for Team Australia, Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the ongoing four-match Test series against India. Australia coach Andrew McDonald confirmed that the pacer will head back home, having not recovered from an Achilles injury on his left leg. The same ruled him out of the first two games, which Australia lost. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Hazlewood has been a vital cog of Australia's bowling attack ever since his Test debut, and his absence can hurt the visitors.
- Notably, Australia were outplayed in the first two Tests with both matches ending within three days.
- Moreover, the visitors need at least a draw in the remaining two games to officially secure a place in the ICC World Test Championship final.
Hazlewood to miss the Test series
Hazlewood sustained the injury during the Sydney Test versus South Africa last month. While the fast bowler was named in Australia's squads for India Tests, he didn't take an active part in the pre-series camp. He, hence, will head back to Sydney for recovery. The pacer is also doubtful for the ODI leg of the India tour, which gets underway on March 17.
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, Cameron Green back in mix
As per cricket.com.au, McDonald also confirmed that pace-bowling all-rounder Cameron Green has recovered from his finger injury and is fit and available for the remainder of the series. Mitchell Starc, who was also struggling from a finger injury, is also in line to play the remaining two matches. Notably, the third Test gets underway on March 1 at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Pat Cummins heads back home
Meanwhile, Australian skipper Pat Cummins is set to fly back home to attend to a 'serious family health issue'. He is expected to rejoin the team before the third Test. In case, he fails to return on time, Steve Smith, the designated vice-captain, would take up the leadership role. Notably, he was Australia's lone specialist pacer in the second Test.