Australia faces selection dilemmas after Hazlewood’s injury ahead of the third Test

Given Hazlewood’s absence, it is likely that Mitchell Starc, the left-arm fast bowler, and all-rounder Cameron Green will be included in the starting lineup for the upcoming tests.

The announcement that fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will miss the upcoming Indore and Ahmedabad Tests is a significant setback for the Australian cricket team, who are already trailing 2-0 in the 4-match Test series.


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Josh Hazlewood, the fast bowler from Australia, won’t be participating in the remaining matches of the Border-Gavaskar Test series as he has not been able to recover adequately from his left Achilles injury. The head coach, Andrew McDonald, has verified this information and stated that Hazlewood will go back to Sydney to continue his rehabilitation program. Hazlewood has been dealing with side strains in the previous two seasons and had sustained the Achilles injury during his comeback Test match against South Africa in Sydney, while running on the wet areas of the SCG outfield. As a result, the 32-year-old pace bowler had also missed the Nagpur and Delhi Tests.

On Monday, Coach McDonald announced that Hazlewood will be leaving the team after Australia’s 2-0 deficit in the series. Regarding Warner’s injury, McDonald stated that they recently had a meeting and are not making any quick decisions about his participation in upcoming matches. The team will observe his condition and functionality before deciding.

The decision regarding Warner’s injury will depend on how much pain he is experiencing and how much it affects his functionality. The length of his recovery is uncertain, but it could be at least a week or more. The medical team will monitor his progress and update the coaching staff accordingly.

Travis Head was sent to open the second innings in place of the absent David Warner. The left-hander performed well with a counter-attacking 43 and is expected to continue in the role if Warner is unable to play. “If Dave is not available, it would be a logical decision,” said McDonald. “Before coming here, we had discussed that if we were to lose an opening batter, Travis would be a candidate to replace him. He demonstrated that he can start quickly in subcontinental conditions, as he did in the match.”

“The team management does not view Head as a regular opener for all conditions but rather for subcontinental conditions and for other conditions, he would be slotted back into the middle order.”

McDonald has confirmed that all-rounder Cameron Green will be fully fit for the upcoming match in Indore, having been very close to making the cut for the Delhi Test as well.

McDonald stated that Green had come close to making it for the Delhi Test but had a setback in Bangalore while batting. He had some jarring and experienced significant discomfort in his finger. If he hadn’t had that setback, he would have likely played in the second Test. However, the injury delayed his return for a few days. Building confidence is crucial for him at this point.

“We also considered him as a concussion substitute. That was another discussion. However, we decided that if he wasn’t fully fit at the beginning, then a delay of a few days wouldn’t make much difference. It was better to focus on the third Test match and ensure that he was in a good frame of mind,” McDonald explained.

As Hazlewood is unable to play due to his injury, there is a strong possibility that Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green will be part of the starting 11 for the upcoming tests. However, Pat Cummins will be missing from the team due to a family illness but is expected to join the squad in time for the third test. David Warner, who suffered a concussion and a fractured arm during the second test, will continue to be evaluated by the medical team while remaining with the squad.

According to a team spokesman, any alterations to the squad will be disclosed on Wednesday, after considering the opinions of the selectors and medical staff. In the four-test series, Australia is currently trailing 2-0 after suffering a six-wicket defeat in the second match in Delhi on Sunday, following an innings and 132 runs defeat in the opener in Nagpur.

Hazlewood was sidelined for the first two tests of the series due to an injury he sustained during the third test against South Africa in January. In addition, fellow fast bowler Mitchell Starc and all-rounder Cameron Green were also unable to play in the first two matches as they recovered from broken fingers.

Australia has named a 19-man squad for the remaining two tests against India: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Matt Kuhnemann, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Todd Murphy, Matthew Renshaw, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, and David Warner. Meanwhile, India’s squad for the series includes Rohit Sharma as captain, KL Rahul as vice-captain, and players such as Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat, Ishan Kishan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, and Jaydev Unadkat.

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