Michael Neser. Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images
Michael Neser. Photo by Peter Wallis/Getty Images

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Doug Bollinger, the former Australian pace bowler wants to see Michael Neser as the one to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood in the second Ashes Test beginning on December 16. Josh Hazlewood was officially ruled out of the day-night game after the 30-year-old pacer suffered a side strain during the home team’s nine-wicket win in the first Test at The Gabba.

Josh Hazlewood reportedly flew out of Brisbane to Sydney on Sunday afternoon for further assessment and rehabilitation with a decision on his fitness for the Boxing Day Test (Melbourne, December 26) to be made in due course. The Cricket Australia (CA) selection panel will likely choose between Queensland’s Michael Neser and Western Australia’s Jhye Richardson as Josh Hazlewood’s replacement.

Josh Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Doug Bollinger Would Love To See Michael Neser As He Feels He Deserves A Debut For Being Consistent

However, Doug Bollinger, who played 12 Tests and 39 ODIs for Australia snaring 112 wickets in the two formats, besides also donning the Chennai Super Kings jersey in his professional career, said that he would go with Michael Neser. Doug Bollinger announced his retirement from all formats of the game in 2018 ending an impressive 15-year career. He represented for the Aussies in the whites in 12 games where he picked 50 scalps averaging 25.92. In the coloured clothing, he played 39 ODIs and 9 T20Is for the Australians and picked 62 and 9 wickets respectively.

Josh Hazlewood, Australian pacer, and Australian opener David Warner are injury concerns for Australia after their nine-wicket win over England in the first Ashes Test. Josh Hazlewood has a mild rib issue but, having been absent for much of day three, did bowl as England collapsed from 223-2 to 297 all out on day four. David Warner, who also has a rib injury, did not field on the third day and also did not open batting when his side chased 20 to win.

“I’d love to see Michael Neser,” Doug Bollinger said on Monday. “He thoroughly deserves it. He’s been very consistent for a few years now and he can bat… he has a (Sheffield) Shield hundred.”
The Australian left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger played for Chennai Super Kings in between 2010 and 2012. (Photo Source: AFP) | CricTracker.com
The Australian left-arm pacer Doug Bollinger played for Chennai Super Kings between 2010 and 2012. (Photo Source: AFP) | CricTracker.com

Michael Neser is yet to receive his Baggy Green cap despite being a member of the Australian Test squad since 2018. The 31-year-old right-arm seamer has 236 wickets in 124 innings at an average of 24.47 in Shield cricket and is a valuable lower-order batter, averaging 24.48 with a century to his name. He also stood out in Australia A’s win over the England Lions, snaring seven wickets for 65 for the match including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

Michael Neser has been one the most consistent seamers in Australian domestic cricket over the past few years, taking 87 Sheffield Shield wickets at 21.62 since September 2018.

Doug Bollinger: Selectors Have A Headache To Pick Josh Hazlewood’s Replacement

On the other hand, his competitor, Jhye Richardson, 25, has played two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2019 and has taken 23 wickets at an average of 13.43 in four Shield games this season, more than any other pace bowler in the first-class competition. Doug Bollinger felt that the selectors have their task cut out as both Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser had proved their worth.

“It’s a great problem to have. We’ve still got other guys that can bowl as well. I’m chucking Scott Boland in there. Hits the wicket very hard… in his last Shield game he got a five-for,” said Bollinger.

Jhye Richardson of Western Australia. Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images
Jhye Richardson of Western Australia. Photo by Steve Bell/Getty Images

Josh Hazlewood, part of Australia’s T20 World Cup-winning squad last month, took 3-74 in 27 overs in the match but only bowled eight of 70 overs on day three in Brisbane before being ruled out.