IND vs AUS: Josh Hazlewood ruled out of 1st Test

Sunday, 5 February 2023 (12:38 IST)
Bengaluru: Australia's injury concerns continue to mount ahead of the first Test against India with key pacer Josh Hazlewood ruled out of the opening match in Nagpur.
Hazelwood has been battling an Achilles problem he picked up during Australia's home Test against South Africa last month and has failed to bowl during training in Alur over the last few days.
The absence of Hazlewood robs Australia of another key member of their potent bowling attack for the crucial ICC World Test Championship clash, with veteran left-armer Mitchell Starc already ruled out of the series opener through injury.
Star all-rounder Cameron Green won’t be able to bowl during the Test due to his own injury, meaning seamers Scott Boland and uncapped quick Lance Morris are the only remaining quicks in the squad that are available to partner skipper Pat Cummins for the first Test, the ICC reported.
Just whether Hazlewood regains full fitness in time for the second Test in Delhi from February 17 remains to be seen, with the experienced right-armer admitting he is still battling the injury he picked up against South Africa.
"It's still lingering from the (Sydney) Test match," Hazlewood said on Sunday.
"We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the jump-offs were quite soft where we were taking off from, and they ended up replacing them as well," he said.
"It sort of worked to a degree, but just that extra load jumping off a soft ground to bowl and again
first Test match (back from injury) your body is not used to that sort of workload as well," added Hazlewood.
Hazlewood is hoping to have a bowl at training on Tuesday and believes how he recovers from that hitout will be pivotal in determining his fitness going forward.
"I was bowling a fair bit leading into the (India) tour at home and sort of just pushing up against it. It probably wasn’t recovering as well as I would have liked between each session," Hazlewood noted.
"So thought we’d give it a few days here straight of the bat and try and get over the hump and have a bowl from Tuesday and hope it goes well," he said,
Boland partnered skipper Pat Cummins at Australia training on Sunday and Hazlewood thinks the right-armer is more than capable of filling the void.
"Scotty has bowled plenty at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, it probably wasn't swinging or reverse swinging so he knows how to work hard for a long period of time," Hazlewood said.
"You've got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions," he said.
"The guys are excited first of all to play in the sub-continent, they both haven’t yet, but they're very well qualified to do so," Hazlewood said.
Australia is currently in the box seat to qualify for June's World Test Championship final, with Cummins' side leading the standings and needing just one positive result in India to ensure they book their place. (UNI)

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