IND vs AUS | Josh Hazlewood to miss Nagpur Test owing to Achilles niggle

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Australia have suffered a blow ahead of the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as their key pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the fixture with a heel injury. The pacer got injured due to damp run-ups a the Sydney Cricket Ground last month during a Test against South Africa.

Ahead of the series against India, Australia’s pace bowling department has much to work on as they will miss their key pacers in the first game. Mitchell Starc was already sidelined for the game with a finger injury but now Josh Hazlewood is also set to accompany him on the casualty ward. Hazlewood has confirmed that he has suffered a left Achilles niggle and so will miss the fixture.

"Not sure about the first Test. It's still a few days away but it's sneaking up pretty quickly. The second one is obviously straight after as well. So, we'll play it by ear over the next week and next few days and hopefully, Tuesday goes well," Hazlewood also stated before Australia's final session at the KSCA Stadium to Cricbuzz.

Hazlewood has been plagued with an injury very often in recent times. He has played only four Tests in the last two series and wasn’t able to play more than one game in a series. The pacer played the opening Test against West Indies during Australia’s home summer but missed the next three matches with a side strain. The latest blow came during the Sydney Test against South Africa where the paceman is believed to have injured his Achilles in a rain-affected encounter. 

"It's still lingering from the (Sydney) Test match probably. We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the jump-offs were quite soft, where we were taking off from and they ended up replacing them as well. It sort of worked to a degree. But just that extra load jumping off a soft ground to bowl and again first Test match. Your body is not used to that sort of workload as well,” he explained. 

With Starc already set to miss the game and Hazlewood added to the list of injured members of the squad, Scott Boland is likely to get his overseas Test debut with an experience of six Test matches in the home country. Lance Morris is another option for the visitors and they can also opt for him if the team decides to play with three pacers. Hazlewood backed both the bowlers hinting on the possibility that either of them can fill his spot in the team. 

"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 the reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions,” he stated.

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