AUS VS SA, South Africa Tour of Australia 2022-23: The Australian spearhead Josh Hazlewood is tentative to participate in the upcoming home test series against South Africa owing to a side strain.
The 31-year-old Josh Hazlewood has already been ruled out from the ongoing second Frank-Worrell test between Australia and Wes Indies and Micheal Neser has replaced him in the line-up.
On Thursday morning, Cricket Australia (CA), revealed in a statement, “Michael Neser will join Scott Boland is being recalled for the second Test in Adelaide after Josh Hazlewood was a late scratching for the day-night clash with West Indies.”
However, after additional scanning, it was discovered that the side strain was the cause of Hazlewood’s revocation from the contest, which was first ascribed as general discomfort. Josh Hazlewood would be evaluated once again following the second Frank-Worrell test, once he heads to Sydney on Friday for rehabilitation.
AUS VS SA: “Josh Hazlewood Was a Little Sore After the First Test Match”, Pat Cummins
AUS VS SA: Earlier this month, Australian red-ball skipper Pat Cummins was also ruled out of the second test against West Indies owing to a quadriceps strain and Lance Morris was bolstered in his place.
Talking about his comrade Hazlewood, Pat Cummins said, “I feel for Joshy, he’s pretty understandably flat.”
Josh Hazlewood’s present circumstance is strikingly similar to the one the right-arm quick Pat Cummins encountered during the Ashes in 2021 when he also sustained a side strain against England in Brisbane and was prevented from playing the duration of the Ashes.
“It’s a low-level strain in his side. He was a little bit sore after the last Test match, had a bowl in the nets yesterday to prove his fitness, and was a bit sorer than we’d all hoped,” Pat Cummins added.
In what turned out to be a disastrous World T20 campaign for Australia recently, the New South Wales bowler Josh Hazlewood claimed 5 wickets for his team at an average of 24.8 and with an economy of 8.27.
From an overall perspective, the right-arm-fast-medium Hazlewood has accumulated 217 test wickets in 58 test matches with an average of 26.19. Moreover, with an economy of 2.73, Josh Hazlewood has also registered 9 five-wicket-hauls in test cricket.
Meanwhile, in absence of Cummins, right-handed Steve Smith is currently leading the Australian side. After winning the flip and electing to bat first, Australia has posted a stiff total of 330/3 against the Kraigg Braithwaite-led West Indies after the proceedings of Day 1 at Adelaide Oval. Marnus Labuschagne 120(235) and Travis Head 114(139) have captured the headlines for Australia.
While Pat Cummins may mark his return to the test side prior to the Protea tour, it is highly unlikely that Josh Hazlewood would emulate that pattern. The 33-year-old Scott Boland is expected to fill in Hazlewood’s boots.
The South Africa tour of Australia encompasses three tests followed by three ODIs held at Hobart, Sydney, and Perth respectively. The Test series commences on 17th December, with the inaugural test being conducted at Brisbane, followed by the penultimate test on 26th December at MCG, and the final test at Sydney, which would transpire on 4th January 2023.