As if injuries to Mitchell Starc and Cameroon Green were not enough, Australia lost another pacer ahead of the all-important first Test in Border-Gavaskar Trophy vs India in form of Josh Hazlewood. The tall pacer was declared unfit, on Sunday (February 5), to take part in the opening Test in Nagpur, meaning Scott Boland could play his first Test abroad. Hazlewood has a left Achilles niggle, confirmed a Cricket Australia release. The niggle was sustained due to the damp run-ups at the SCG for last month’s Test against South Africa.
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Starc and Green are already out because of finger injuries. The second Test starts on February 17 in Delhi and if the first Test goes on till Day 5, it will mean Hazlewood has just 3 days to get fit for Delhi match.
Boland, who made a memorable debut vs England in lat Ashes, has played 6 Tests and all of them in Australia. The Aussie pace attack could look like this for the first Test: Pat Cummins, Scott Boland and uncapped Lance Morris.
“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,” Hazlewood said of the Victorian with a Test bowling average of 12.21.
“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 subcontinent, they both haven’t yet, but they’re very well qualified to do so.”
The first Test starts on February 9 in Nagpur. The teams then travel to Delhi, India’s national capital, for the end Test from February 17 to 21. There is a long gap between second and third Test as Dharamsala match starts on March 1 and will go on till March 5. The third Test will be played at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium from March 9 to 13. The Test series will be followed by ODIs which begin at Mumbai on March 17.