Josh Hazlewood of Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Australia have made a late change to their 15-member squad for the forthcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against India which will be played at The Oval in London from June 7 to 12. Due to an ongoing achilles and side ailment, veteran seamer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the all-important Test.
The 32-year-old had been sidelined owing to an injury. He departed early from India after featuring in some games for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the 16th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. He was named in Australia’s squad and began preparations for the one-off Test. However, Australia have now chosen not to take any risks with the right-armer ahead of the marquee event.
Hazlewood is expected to be available for selection for the first Ashes Test in Birmingham during the summer. The 2023 Ashes between Australia and England will begin on June 16 and conclude on July 31.
Michael Neser, an in-form all-rounder, has been called up to the Australian squad and might be in contention for a berth in their playing XI over Scott Boland. The 33-year-old has recently been in excellent form for Glamorgan in the Country Championship, picking up 19 wickets in five matches and smashing a century against Sussex in a recent match.
The right-armer has only featured in two Tests so far in his career, but he might feature in the final XI and partner with Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in the title clash. Meanwhile, Boland has appeared in seven Tests for Australia, grabbing 28 wickets at an impressive average of 13.42. The most recent Test he played was the opening match of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against India in Nagpur in February 2023, which Australia lost by 2-1.
Updated Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner
Standby players: Mitch Marsh, Matthew Renshaw