Nagpur (Maharashtra) [India], February 5 (ANI): Australia's injury concerns continue to mount ahead of the opening Test against India, with star pacer Josh Hazlewood likely to ruled out of the opening match in Nagpur, cricket.com.au reported.
Hazelwood missed the last four days of bowling practice in Alur due to an Achilles injury he sustained during Australia's home Test against South Africa last month.
Hazlewood's withdrawal deprives Australia of yet another essential component of their lethal bowling attack for the pivotal ICC World Test Championship match, with veteran left-armer Mitchell Starc already ruled out of the first game of the four-match series due to an injury.
The 32-year-old joins pace partner Starc (finger complaint) and all-rounder Cameron Green (unlikely to bowl until the second Test due to an injured finger) on the injury list.
Due to his personal injury, star all-arounder Green will be unable to bowl in the opening Test, leaving only seamers Scott Boland and uncapped quick Lance Morris available to bowl alongside skipper Pat Cummins.
Hazlewood admits he is still battling the injury he sustained against South Africa and it is unclear whether he will be fully healthy in time for the second Test in Delhi, beginning February 17.
"It's still lingering from the (Sydney) Test match. We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the jump-offs were quite soft where we were taking off from, and they ended up replacing them as well. It sort of worked to a degree, but just that extra load jumping off a soft ground to bowl and again first Test match (back from injury) your body is not used to that sort of workload as well," ICC quoted Hazlewood as saying on Sunday.
Hazlewood added that he anticipates bowling at practice on Tuesday and thinks his ability to recover from that hitout will be a key factor in determining his future fitness.
"I was bowling a fair bit leading into the (India) tour at home and sort of just pushing up against it. It probably wasn't recovering as well as I would have liked between each session. So thought we'd give it a few days here straight off the bat and try and get over the hump and have a bowl from Tuesday and hope it goes well," Hazlewood noted.
Hazlewood believes Boland, who trained with Australia's skipper Pat Cummins on Sunday, is more than capable of filling the vacuum.
"Scotty has bowled plenty at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, it probably wasn't swinging or reverse swinging so he knows how to work hard for a long period of time. You've got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions. The guys are excited first of all to play in the sub-continent, they both haven't yet, but they're very well qualified to do so," Hazlewood said.
However, Cummins' team, which is currently at the top of the ICC's red-ball standings, needs just one victory in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series to book their berth in the World Test Championship final in June will fancy getting there despite the injury setbacks. (ANI)