| Alec Stewart takes evasive action as Mahela Jayawardene cuts one fiercely during their tri-series tie in Sydney Monday. (AP/PTI)
Brisbane: Australian fast bowler Andy Bichel has been ruled out of Wednesday’s one-day International against Sri Lanka with a shoulder injury, while fellow-fast bowler Glenn McGrath is still in doubt, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Monday.
Brad Williams and left-armer Nathan Bracken have been added to the squad as cover for the injured pair.
Bichel suffered tendon damage in his right shoulder during Saturday’s seven-run win against England in Hobart.
“The shoulder hasn’t improved over the last few days so he will have diagnostic scans in Brisbane tomorrow,” Australia team physiotherapist Errol Alcott said on Monday. “After that we will have a better understanding of the injury and the time it will take before he resumes bowling.”
Bichel said he was disappointed to miss playing in front of his home crowd in Queensland. “I guess it’s a question of looking at the bigger picture though, and making sure the body is right before the (triangular) series finals and the World Cup (next month),” Bichel said.
McGrath, who returned from a side strain injury for Saturday’s match, left the field after bowling seven overs for 31 runs and was later diagnosed as having an irritated facet joint in his lower back.
McGrath had two cortisone injections in his back in Melbourne on Sunday and has joined the squad in Brisbane.
Australia are also without Jason Gillespie, who has an elbow injury, and leg-spinner Shane Warne, who returned to domestic interstate one-day cricket last week after dislocating his shoulder in a match against England on December 15.
Williams, 28, has played just one International while Bracken, 25, from New South Wales, has played nine.
Australia wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist is also considering resting from one of Australia’s two matches next week.
“There could possibly be a game that I do miss. It’s just trying to work out what game it would be,” Gilchrist told reporters on Monday. “There are a number of guys starting to feel some tiredness building up.”
Queensland captain and Australia World Cup squad batsman Jimmy Maher was the likely replacement, Gilchrist added.
“(He) may as well get some good practice under his belt now and start working on it, rather than one day asking ‘who is going to do it'’ ” Gilchrist said.
Australia lead the series with 22 points and have three remaining round-robin matches against Sri Lanka on January 15, England on January 19 and Sri Lanka on January 21 before the best-of-three finals series starts two days later.