File photo of Josh Hazlewood© AFP
Australia suffered a big setback after senior bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the upcoming World Test Championship final against India after failing to recover from lateral strain sustained during his IPL tenure in India. The WTC Final is scheduled to take place at the Oval from June 7th to 11th. Australia brought in fast bowler Michael Neser, and Hazlewood was reportedly given extra time to recover and prepare for the Ashes in England. Neser has played in the County Championship for Glamorgan this season and has been on a fine pace, taking 14 wickets in his last three games including 7/32 against Yorkshire. He played two Tests for Australia and took seven wickets.
However, it is fast middle bowler Scott Boland who looks more likely to be the first XI starter in Hazlewood’s absence, in conditions that are suitable for docking, hitting the pitch type deck.
A series of five Test Ashes in England will start on June 16th, and Hazlewood, who has already missed many Test Ashes in Australia, will have more time to prepare for the all-important series.
Hazlewood endured lateral strain during his injury-marred stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore in the recently concluded IPL, in which he only played three games without much success before flying home.
Hazlewood returned to bowling on his return to Sydney as scans showed no damage or injury.
Despite being considered one of the pillars of Australia’s three-man squad, the 32-year-old does not compete regularly in Test cricket, having played only four of his last 19 matches due to a string of injuries.
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