Boland in line for first overseas Test as Hazlewood ruled out through injury

By Sports Desk February 05, 2023

Josh Hazlewood's rotten luck with injuries has continued after he was ruled out of the opening Test between India and Australia.

Hazlewood, who has played only four Tests in the last two years, will not feature in Nagpur on Thursday due to an Achilles issue, with Scott Boland in line to play instead.

A side injury suffered against West Indies in November saw Hazlewood miss not only the second Test of that series, but also the first two matches against South Africa in December.

He returned for the final Test of that series, taking 5-57 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but will now have to recover from another niggle.

Hazlewood joins fellow paceman Mitchell Starc in missing the first Test of the four-match India series, while all-rounder Cameron Green is also a doubt, meaning an overseas bow for Boland is likely.

Boland has taken 28 wickets across his six Test appearances.

Discussing the injury, Hazlewood said: "It's still lingering from the [Sydney] Test match [against South Africa].

"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.

"So we thought we'd give it a few days here straight off the bat and try and get over the hump and have a bowl from Tuesday and hope it goes well."

Boland has the full backing of his team-mate, however.

"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.

"You've got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead in here with a few sessions.

"The guys are excited first of all to play in the subcontinent, they both haven't yet, but they're very well qualified to do so."

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