Josh Hazlewood, an Australian pace bowler, is a doubtful starter for the third Ashes Test, which begins on December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), with the Cricket Australia (CA) selection panel preferring to give him more time to recover from a side strain and return for the fourth Test at the SCG in New Year.
Hazlewood had been injured during Australia’s nine-wicket victory in the first Test at The Gabba. He did not bowl in the Adelaide Oval Test and did not bowl on Friday, instead of watching countrymen fast bowlers Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser bowl to top-order hitters in the nets.
Cameron Green, Australia’s 22-year-old all-rounder, said on Friday, “He’s going pretty well.” “Today he was doing his run-throughs, and he’s looking fantastic. I haven’t spoken to the boys about this game yet, but he’ll be in Sydney.”
Hazlewood is preparing for the fourth Test at the SCG, according to Green, who took two wickets in the Adelaide Test, which the hosts won by 275 runs.
Pat Cummins, who will return as captain of the side after missing the second Test due to Covid-enforced isolation, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, and Green might be the expected home team fast bowling line-up.
Michael Neser, who made his Test debut in Adelaide and took a wicket in both innings, is expected to be replaced by Cummins.
On Day 5 at Adelaide, Richardson, who was playing his first Test in nearly three years, shattered England’s resistance with his maiden five-wicket haul, guiding the hosts to a 2-0 lead.
While Victorian pace bowler Scott Boland has been called up to the Australian squad as a 16th man, he is unlikely to make the playing XI.
Green remarked of his Western Australian teammate Richardson, “I spoke to him today and he is good to go.” “He was excited after that second innings performance, as you would expect, and he’s eager to go again.”
Green also put to rest any doubts about his own fitness.
Green stated, “I was perfectly fine and ready to go.” “We were simply in a fantastic position.” From one end, Nathan Lyon was bowling beautifully, and we have three world-class speed bowlers to pick from. It wasn’t really necessary for me to be there.
“They just thought we could get through the game without bowling me (in the second innings) and keep me a bit more fresh for this game. The boys bowled beautifully and credit to them,” added Green.