During Australia’s home Test against South Africa last month, Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood was suffering from an Achilles problem and has failed to bowl during practice in Alur for the past few days.
Hazlewood’s absence has affected Australia, another key member of their mighty bowling attack, for the crucial ICC World Test Championship clash, with veteran left-armer Mitchell Starc already ruled out of the series opener due to injury.
Team Australia’s legendary star all-rounder Cameron Green is a highly rated player who will be unable to bowl during the Tests due to his own injury, meaning Scott Boland and uncapped paceman Lance Morris are the only players in the fast bowler category. The option is as a fast bowler.
Wood will be missed by his fans in the test series, and it remains to be seen how soon Hazlewood finds himself fit and joins the team for the second Test in Delhi on February 17, the experienced right-handed batsman said. He stated that he is still suffering from the injury sustained 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.
“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.”
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.”
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.
“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.”
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.