Australian fast-bowling stocks take another hit before the first Test of the summer.
Rising fast-bowler Josh Hazlewood is set to miss several weeks cricket with a shin injury, dealing another blow to Australia’s pace stocks for the Ashes before a ball is bowled.
Hazlewood was one of eight bowlers in the mix to face England in the coming five-Test series, but now it seems the New South Wales quick will not be available for selection until at least the third Test in Perth next month.
Australia’s fast bowling depth has already been seriously tested with injuries to top line pacemen James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Jackson Bird, Pat Cummins and now Hazlewood has joined them.
Hazlewood first experienced the shin soreness in last week’s Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania.
He was withdrawn from his team’s current game against Victoria at the request of Cricket Australia as part of its rotation policy.
But the shin soreness that will now rule him out of Sydney club cricket this weekend and for the next few weeks of Shield and potentially Test cricket, only flared up after the board’s announcement.
NSW fast bowling coach Geoff Lawson was vocal in his opposition to CA’s decision to intervene and rest Hazlewood in the first place.
The former Test quick was of the opinion Hazlewood hadn’t bowled well in the first Shield match against Tasmania and would benefit from more cricket in order to find his rhythm.
Hazlewood, who has yet to make his Test debut, was part of the Australia squad for the third Test against South Africa in Perth last year before being ruled out of contention for a debut after being diagnosed with stress fractures.
The other fast-bowlers in Australia’s pool of eight are Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus and also includes Clint McKay, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ben Cutting.