In a huge blow to the visiting Australian team, which has already conceded the Border-Gavaskar trophy to India after ongoing 2-0 down in the ongoing Test series, pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the entire series with an Achillies complaint.
As per cricket.com.au, head coach Andrew McDonald revealed that Hazlewood is heading back home to continue his rehabilitation from an Achilles complaint that kept him away from the first two matches. His absence was felt sorely by the visitors as the India thrashed the Baggy Greens in the second Test to go 2-0 up in the series.
However, in some respite for the struggling visitors, star all-rounder Cameron Green has been declared fit for the third Test in Indore and quick Mitchell Starc is also in line to feature in the playing eleven. Hazlewood had been working regain full fitness at training in recent weeks, but it now turns out that he still hasn’t recovered fully. He will be continuing his recovery and rehabilitation at home in Sydney.
However, the recovery of Starc and Green from their injuries does bring hope to Australia, which is looking to find its way back into the series. McDonald declared Green 100 per cent fit while adding that Starc is also in line to play the next Test. Spinner Todd Murphy, who made his debut in the opening Test in Nagpur and took a seven-for, is also nursing a side strain but the coach said he was optimistic that he would recover in time for the Indore Test, which starts on March 1.
“He is nursing a minor niggle,” McDonald told reporters on Monday. “It looks as though the timeframe between now and the next Test should be enough to resolve that. So he will not have a test but he will have a good workout two days before … it looks good,” added the coach.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins has, meanwhile, returned home from the ongoing tour of India due to a serious family health issue. As per ESPNCricinfo, Cummins will be returning to Sydney for a few days but will return to India for preparations ahead for the third Test.
Though Cummins is expected to return in time for the third Test, vice-captain Steve Smith will lead the side if the regular red-ball skipper is unable to take the field for the Indore Test.
Veteran opener David Warner’s fitness will also be monitored closely after he was ruled out of the Delhi Test due to a concussion. He also suffered a hairline fracture in his left elbow in the first innings after being struck by fast bowler Mohammed Siraj.
Leggie Mitchell Swepson could also return after flying home ahead of the second Test for the birth of his first child.
Also the ODI skipper, Cummins will lead the Aussies in the three-match ODI series that will follow the Tests. However, there’s a chance of him being rested during the three-match series due to workload concerns.