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Josh Hazlewood to miss Brisbane ODI due to viral infection

In Hazlewood's absence, right-arm pacer Jhye Richardson would be most likely making his ODI debut for Australia

News 18 Jan 2018, 16:33 IST
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New Zealand v Australia - 3rd ODI

What's the story?

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is set to miss Australia's second ODI against England on Friday at Brisbane owing to a viral illness. In his place, the hosts would, in all probability, be drafting in young right-arm pacer Jhye Richardson, who is yet to play an ODI for Australia.

In case you didn't know..

Hazlewood is not the first one to be affected by a virus during the current tour by England, including the Ashes series. His teammates Pat Cummins, Tim Paine, David Warner and Steven Smith had all fallen ill during the lengthy campaign which included 5 Tests before the ODI series began; England, for their part, have had their Test captain Joe Root also be afflicted, with James Vince also suffering.

Following a tiring Test series, Hazlewood was rested for the first ODI at Melbourne which England won by 5 wickets. However, as originally planned, Australia would be resting Cummins for the second ODI despite Hazlewood's confirmed absence.

The heart of the matter

Australia's opener Aaron Finch sounded concerned about numerous players across both sides being hit with a virus. "We've seen it all through the summer from both sides, there's been quite a lot of illness, which is strange," he said.

"It causes a bit of separation. Guys don't want to hang around with each other in case they're spreading it on, but the guys that are there to come in and potentially take their spot if they need are in great form as well,” Finch said about the illness.

What's next?

21-year-old Richardson played for Australia in 2 T20s against Sri Lanka in early 2017, so if he does take the field against England tomorrow, he has that experience at the international level to look back upon.

In fact, with wicket-keeper Paine having still not fully recovered, the selectors have called up Alex Carey, who plays for South Africa, to induct him into the eleven should the need so arise.

Author's Take

With multiple players in both teams afflicted by viral illnesses, it is high time Cricket Australia and the team management of the two sides took responsibility to ensure that with four ODIs and three T20s still remaining on the tour, a repeat of the same does not occur.

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