The Australian cricket team is facing injury problems ahead of their first Test against India. Now experienced fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is being ruled out for the opening match in Nagpur, which starts on Thursday. 32 years old Hazlewood is struggling with an Achilles problem suffered during Australia’s Test against South Africa in Sydney last month and has announced that he will miss at least the first match of the four-Test series.
Another Fast Bowler Ruled Out
Left-handed speedster Mitchell Starc has already been ruled out for the opener due to a finger injury, while all-rounder Cameron Green is a doubt as he too is dealing with a finger injury. Hazlewood, who did not bowl during Australia’s training camp outside Bangalore, is now rushing to be fit for the second Test, which will be played in New Delhi from February 17.
Hazlewood’s Frustration with Injuries
Hazlewood expressed his frustration over the situation, saying, “I’m still hard done with the (Sydney) game. I’m not sure about the first Test. It’s still a few days away, but it’s coming up pretty quickly.” He added, “The second one is immediately after as well. So we’ll see over the week and the next few days… It’s been frustrating to play one test at a time. It always seems like the hardest Test to play… Hopefully, I can string a couple (of Tests) together on this tour.”
Australia’s coach Andrew McDonald remains hopeful that Green will be able to play in the first Test against India, although he says he still has some progress to make before he can be considered for the series opener. Green damaged the index finger on his right hand during the victory over South Africa in Melbourne on Boxing Day and underwent an operation, but his doctor did not clear him to return to training until Monday. The 23-year-old bowled softballs for 30 minutes in the nets and then practised an hour of batting. McDonald stated, “He’s made some significant strides in the last couple of days, probably to my surprise. There’s still a chance that, if all goes well, he could make the team roster.”