Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood will remain on the sidelines for the final Ashes Test at Hobart as he hasn’t recovered from a side strain yet. The 31-year old played only the first test of this Ashes series. So Scott Boland who made a terrific debut at Melbourne will retain his place for the pink ball Test match.
However, coach Justin Langer is quite optimistic that he will be available for white-ball games for the rest of the summer.
Josh Hazlewood played only the first Ashes Test at Brisbane
“Unfortunately Josh hasn’t come up, hopefully, he’ll be right for the white-ball games, It’s been really tough on him, he has been really hanging out to play in this Ashes series like everyone. He has missed three games, so to have one of our premier fast bowlers out of the series, I guess it is a bit like England missing one of their premier fast bowlers (in Jofra Archer) – we’ve missed big Josh,” coach Justin Langer said on Friday.
Hazlewood has been an integral part of the Australia Test team in the last 6-7 years. In a 56-Test career, he picked 215 wickets with an average of 25.63 which included 9 fifers.
In the last two Ashes wins he played a key role for Australia. In the 2019 Ashes, he picked 20 wickets in 4 Test matches with an average of 21.85 when Australia regained the Ashes after drawing the series by 2-2.
In the last home Ashes 2017-18, he again made a significant contribution as he picked 21 wickets in 5 matches with an average of 25.90 which included a fifer at Perth as Australia comprehensively beat England by a 4-0 margin.
As things stand, he might make a comeback in an ODI series against New Zealand as the Kiwis will travel to Australia for 3 ODIs and one T20I. Then in February, Sri Lanka will travel to Australia for 5-match T20I series. Australia’s next assignment in Tests will be their tour to Pakistan where they are scheduled to play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and one T20I.
Meanwhile England camp is also struggling with injuries as they called Sam Billings as cover for Hobart Test as Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow suffered hand injuries during England’s first innings. Ollie Pope kept wickets for England in the second innings of the Sydney Test.