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Michael Neser earns call up as Josh Hazlewood ruled out of Test Championship final | The New Daily

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Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the World Test Championship final against India after succumbing to side soreness and has been put on ice for the Ashes.

Hazlewood had hoped to play his first match for Australia since early January and only his fifth in two years against India at The Oval, after a run of side issues and an achilles problem.

The seamer has been back bowling at close to full tilt for a fortnight and completed three separate spells in a centre-wicket session on Saturday.


However, he was seen in close consultation with coach Andrew McDonald after the last of those spells, before being officially ruled out on Sunday.

Michael Neser will join the 15-man squad in his place, acting as the fourth pace option behind front-liners Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland.

“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 for us,” chief selector George Bailey said.

“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.

“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.”

McDonald has also already indicated a number of short turnarounds will play on Australia’s mind throughout the tour.

Australia have three sets of back-to-back Tests, separated by the week-long gaps between the first Test at Edgbaston and the second at Lord’s, and between the third and fourth matches at Headingley and Old Trafford.

“We have a Test Championship final to play, which we’re excited about. But if you look on the back of that, then we turn our attention quickly to England and the Ashes,” McDonald said.

“Yeah, there’s some short turnarounds there. That’s nothing that we’re not used to. There will always be considerations around management.

“There’ll be some plans sitting in the background, but like any Test match, you don’t know what’s going to happen within that Test match.

“Then you make decisions from that … I’d say there would be some moving parts in amongst the quicks.”

After arriving in England on May 27, Australia spent initial days focusing on the Ashes in Formby before turning their attention solely to India during a training camp in Kent.

Australia have never played India in a Test on neutral soil before, but insist they are not walking into the unknown.

“If you look at a form reference for the way India play in England is probably when they play against England,” McDonald said.

“So there won’t be too many things that are unknown.

“We’ve tracked back through that, looked how India played against England here. What their bowlers did and how they use their bowlers.”


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