Australia suffered a setback before the start of the four-match Test series against India when ace fast bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out for the first Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is set to start on February 9, as per cricket.com.au.
Hazlewood sustained a left achilles niggle injury last month during the series against South Africa. Earlier, Mitchell Starc was declared unfit to take the field in the opening Test. The injuries to two premier fast bowlers have almost confirmed that Scott Boland and uncapped quick Lance Morris will be in the final line-up.
If both bowlers take the field, it will be their first experience playing on a subcontinent pitch, and both are quality bowlers, according to Hazledwood.
He went on to say that “Scotty has the experience to bowl long spells at the flat track of the MCG, so he knows how to ball and work hard for a long period of time.” His bowling average of 12.21 in the longest format of the game is phenomenal.
Hazlewood admitted that he has been struggling with the injury and is battling to be fully match fit before the second Test which begins on February 17 in Delhi.
Currently, Australia has been on top of the World Test Championship (WTC). The visitors need one victory to book their place in the WTC final, which is scheduled to be played in England in June this year.
India holds the second spot in the WTC rankings, and with the home advantage, the hosts has a chance to book its second consecutive WTC final berth.