Josh Hazlewood yet to recover, will miss first Test against India
The Australian cricket team’s injury concerns continue to mount before their first Test against India with seasoned fast bowler Josh Hazlewood ruled out of next week’s opener in Nagpur, which begins on Thursday.
Hazlewood, 32, has been struggling with an Achilles problem sustained during Australia’s Test against South Africa in Sydney last month and said on Sunday he will miss at least the first match of the four-Test series.
Left-arm quick Mitchell Starc has already been ruled out of the opener, while all-rounder Cameron Green is doubtful, with both picking up finger injuries.
Hazlewood, who did not bowl during Australia’s training camp on the outskirts of Bangalore, is now racing to be fit for the second Test, to be played in New Delhi from February 17.
“It’s still lingering from the (Sydney) Test match,” said Hazlewood, who has featured in only four Tests in the last two years due to a string of injuries. “Not sure about the first Test. It’s still a few days away but it’s sneaking up pretty quickly.
“Second one is obviously straight after as well. So, we’ll play it by ear over the next week and next few days... It’s been frustrating playing one Test at a time.
“It always feels the hardest Test to play... Hopefully, I can string a couple (of Tests) together on this tour.”
Australia coach Andrew McDonald remains hopeful that Green can feature in the first Test against India, saying he still had progress to make before he could be considered for the series opener.
Green damaged his right index finger during the Boxing Day Test win over South Africa in Melbourne and was only given clearance to return to training by his doctor on Monday following surgery.
The 23-year-old bowled with soft balls for 30 minutes in the nets at the Australian camp before doing an hour’s batting practice.
“He’s made some significant steps forward in the last couple of days, probably to my surprise. There’s still an outside chance that, everything going well, he might be on the team sheet,” McDonald told reporters.
Calcutta: The wish to put on the India jersey once again kept Ravindra Jadeja motivated in the “tough period” post his knee surgery.
Speaking to bcci.tv, the all-rounder, who is back in the India squad for the Test series against Australia, said: “I am very excited and happy that after almost five months I get to wear the Indian jersey again... if you are not playing cricket for five months, it becomes very frustrating.
“The period after that (surgery) was pretty difficult because you have to continuously do rehab and training. You had thoughts in your head about your fitness. When you saw the matches on TV, like I was watching the (T20) WorldCup, I wished that I was there. “
These small things motivate you to speed up the recovery process.”
Recollecting his dilemma on when to go for the surgery, Jadeja said: “I had a problem with my knee and I had to get the surgery sooner or later. But I had to take the decision whether I would have it before the World Cup or after.
“The doctor also advised me to do it before the WorldCup because my chances of playing the World Cup were anyway pretty less. So I made up my mind and went for the surgery.”