The Australian cricket team suffered a major injury blow ahead of the second Ashes Test here from December 16 as star pace bowler Josh Hazlewood was ruled out of the pink-ball game.
The seamer took three wickets in Australia’s dominating nine-wicket win against Joe Root’s England in the opening Ashes Test at Brisbane. The tall pacer currently sits third on the ICC Test bowling rankings.
Hazlewood had suffered a side strain during the first Test.
Hazlewood returned to Sydney on Sunday afternoon for further assessment and rehabilitation with a decision on his fitness for the Boxing Day Test (Melbourne, December 26) to be made in due course, icc-cricket reported.
His likely replacement at Adelaide Oval will be one of Jhye Richardson or Michael Neser, with Richardson hoping to play his first Test in nearly three years and Neser eying a debut in the format.
For Australia, losing Hazlewood’s services is a big blow as he has scalped 32 wickets at an average of 19.90 in pink-ball Tests. In last summer’s pink-ball Test against India, Hazlewood was the chief architect of India being shot out for 36 in the second innings, picking 5/8 in just five overs.
Captain Pat Cummins had said after the first Ashes match that Hazlewood was a bit sore and that Australia will take time in deciding to make him play in the second Test.