Josh Hazlewood is likely to miss the first Test against India

Josh Hazlewood is almost certainly eliminated from the first Test against India, leaving Scott Boland in line to play alongside Pat Cummins as the pace component of Australia’s attack in Border-Gavaskar’s opening game.

An Achilles problem has worried Hazlewood leading up to the first Test and after failing to shake it the 32-year-old will not attempt bowling again until the Australian main meeting in Nagpur on Tuesday before Thursday’s start.

Australia's Josh Hazlewood appeals to a wicket.

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood appeals to a wicket.Credit:AP

But he admitted that this schedule made the first test extremely unlikely and the second match in Delhi also doubtful as it was close to the first match.

“Just a bit of workload management right now, managing an Achilles problem,” said Hazlewood in Bengaluru. “I played a good bit of bowling when I went on the tour at home and fought back. It probably wasn’t recovering as well as I would have liked in sessions, so we thought we’d give it a few days off.

“Try to get over the hump, then by Tuesday you’ll have a bowl and hopefully it’s going well. Not sure about the first test, it’s still a few days away, but it’s creeping up pretty quickly. The second one is also right after that, of course, so we play it by ear.”

It’s been an extremely frustrating time for Hazlewood, who has only contested four Tests since January 2021 with a series of side, hamstring and foot problems.

He had only returned to the side for the SCG Test against South Africa in early January, where Hazlewood said Sydney’s rain disruptions and the resulting impact on bowlers’ heats may have contributed to the problem.

“It’s probably still lingering from the test match,” he said. “We obviously bowled after a lot of rain and the jump-offs were pretty soft where we jumped off and they ended up getting replaced too. It worked to a certain extent.

“But just that extra load of jumping off a soft ground to bowling and again the first test match. Your body isn’t used to such stress either.” Josh Hazlewood is likely to miss the first Test against India

Ryan Sederquist

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