Former India National Cricket Team opening batsman Aakash Chopra reckons that the absence of the 32-year-old right-arm pacer Josh Hazlewood in the ICC World Test Championship Final will be a “serious blow” to the Australia National Cricket Team.
India National Cricket Team and Australia National Cricket Team will lock horns in the summit clash of the ICC World Test Championship, which is set to commence on June 7 at the Kennington Oval, London.
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Premier Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the marquee clash due to Achilles and side issues. Michael Neser has replaced him in the strong 15-man squad for the high-profile game.
The cricketer-turned-commentator took to Twitter to react to the news of Hazlewood missing the ICC World Test Championship Final and he stated that it is indeed a serious blow to the Aussies, taking into consideration the favorable bowling condition at the Kennington Oval, London.
“It wasn’t too long ago we heard that Hazlewood was fit and available for the WTC finals…but today, he’s ruled out. A serious blow to the Aussies considering the conditions at The Oval,” Aakash Chopra tweeted.
It wasn’t too long ago we heard that Hazlewood was fit and available for the WTC finals…but today, he’s ruled out. A serious blow to the Aussies considering the conditions at The Oval. #WTCFinal #AUSvIND
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) June 4, 2023
With Hazlewood being ruled out, Scott Boland is the favorite to make it to the playing XI as the third pacer beside skipper Pat Cummins and left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc.
Josh Hazlewood was very, very close to being given the green light – George Bailey
Although Josh Hazlewood will not be able to take part in the ICC World Test Championship Final, the Australian management is optimistic that the pacer will recover in time for the Ashes 2023, which will begin in Edgbaston on June 16.
Meanwhile, chief selector George Bailey has said that Josh Hazlewood was very close to being given the green signal for the summit clash against India, but they decided against it considering the jam-packed schedule.
“Josh was very, very close to being given the green light but we are cognisant that our upcoming schedule means this is not a one-off Test match of us,” said chief selector George Bailey.
“This will give Josh an ideal preparation leading into Edgbaston. With six Test matches in a little over seven weeks, we will need all of our fast bowling assets.”
“Michael’s county form has been strong and knowing that he was going to be close by allowed for him to keep playing and for us to be able to call on him. He is a great strength to have as part of the fast-bowling group.”
Josh Hazlewood has represented Australia National Cricket Team in 59 Tests and has bagged 222 wickets at an average of 25.83 and an economy of 2.71. However, due to injury issues, he has only featured in four of Australia’s last 19 Tests.