The Ashes: Josh Hazlewood to miss MCG Test
The Australian cricket team will be without right-arm pacer Josh Hazlewood for the upcoming third Ashes Test at the MCG. Hazlewood will miss the Test with a minor side strain. Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who had missed the second Test in Adelaide, is set to return. Meanwhile, coach Justin Langer has suggested that left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc will play the MCG Test.
Why does it matter?
- Cummins' return will boost the hosts, who are a win away from winning the series.
- It remains to be seen which pacer makes way for Cummins.
- Meanwhile, if Hazlewood does return for the fourth Test, Starc will be rested.
- Australia have solid depth in their pace ranks and one expects a bit of rotation.
Cummins and Hazlewood missed the second Test
Australian captain Cummins missed the second Test after coming in close contact with a COVID-19 positive case in Adelaide. He is likely to play the MCG Test after Cricket Australia informed that South Australian Health had allowed Cummins to return home and train. Ahead of the second Test, Hazlewood had sustained a side strain in Brisbane.
Starc to feature despite workload
Starc played both matches for Australia in the ongoing Ashes 2021-22 series. In the day/night Test in Adelaide, Starc felt an ache in his back. It was reported that Starc may be rested but now with Hazlewood out, he will keep his place. Starc claimed six wickets in Adelaide and bowled a total of 43.1 overs. He had earlier bowled 32 overs in Brisbane.
Langer praises Starc ahead of third Test
Langer praised Starc for his heroics in Adelaide. "Mitch Starc was almost the man of the match last game," said Langer as per BBC. "He's an unbelievable athlete and he's incredibly fit. His resilience to come back over and over again, the way he controlled the tempo of the game, is a credit to him. He became the leader of the attack," he added.
Marcus Harris to feature at the MCG
Langer backed struggling opener Marcus Harris, who has amassed 38 runs across his four innings. "He'll play in the Test, no worries about that," said Langer. "This is his home ground. He hasn't made the runs that he would have liked, but he's dominated domestic cricket. So he can play. He showed glimpses of it in Test cricket so far," Langer added.
Australia have a 2-0 lead in the Test series
Australia can seal The Ashes by beating England in Melbourne. They had won the first Test by nine wickets on Day 4 in Brisbane before defending 467 runs in Adelaide.