Josh Hazlewood ruled out of India series
What's the story?
Just as Australia inch closer to a rare success in Asia, they have been hit with a setback as fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the two-Test series against Bangladesh and the upcoming ODI and T20I series against India with a side injury. The right-arm pacer left the field on the third day of the first Test in Dhaka with a sore side.
Australia will announce a replacement for the fast bowler tomorrow but the fast bowler will be able to bat in the second innings where they still need 156 runs to win with eight wickets in hand and David Warner still unbeaten on 75 at the end of day three.
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The fast bowler bowled 15 overs on day one but just two on the third day during Bangladesh's second innings. Seven balls into his spell, he left the field with a sore left side and didn't bowl again for the rest innings. It didn't hamper the visitors a great deal as Nathan Lyon's six-wicket haul helped them bowl the hosts for 221 and set up a target of 265 for a rare victory on Asian soil.
The heart of the matter
After resting Mitchell Starc, Australia picked just two fast bowlers in the squad for the Bangladesh series and now one of them joins Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson on the sidelines. During the India tour earlier in the year, Starc suffered a broken bone in his foot and was rested from the series and the upcoming one against India as a precaution while Pattinson was withdrawn from this tour after an inflammation in his back.
With Hazlewood injured, Jackson Bird is likely to be roped in as the replacement for the second Test in Chittagong. Although the trio of Jason Behrendorff, Chris Tremain, and Chadd Sayers are also in the running for a spot in the squad.
After the two Tests against Bangladesh, Australia travel to India for five ODIs and three T20Is beginning on September 17. They will have to announce a replacement for not just the Bangladesh series but also the limited-overs tour of India which they will be hoping to win to retain their second spot in the ODI rankings.
Hazlewood's injury is not just a huge blow to Australia with respect to the ongoing Test series against Bangladesh but also the tour to India that immediately follows it. With Starc also not in the squad, the visitors are short on experience in the bowling department. However, they will hope that he remains fit and ready to go for the Ashes series that starts at the end of the year.