Men's ODI World Cup 2019
Omitted pair named as Cup standbys
Hazlewood and Richardson set to square off for selection should injury befall any of Australia's World Cup pacemen
15 April 2019, 01:52 PM AEST
National Selection Panel chair Trevor Hohns says Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson will be Australia's "standby fast bowlers" after the pacemen failed to make the final 15-man World Cup squad.
Hazlewood was today a headline omission from the group that will be out to defend their 2015 world title from their opening match against Afghanistan on June 1, with selectors ultimately deeming the Blues quick would not have had sufficient match practice or recovery time following a back injury to be among the five pacemen chosen for the tournament.
Hazlewood is one of a handful of Aussie quicks currently on their way back from injury, with Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson both named in the Cup squad despite recently suffering pec and shoulder injuries respectively.
Instead, he and Kane Richardson – who played twice in the recent ODI series against Pakistan and also appeared in three ODIs away to England last year – will be part of the Australia A one-day squad that will be playing in the UK from June 20 to July 2.
During that time, Australia will be in the thick of their World Cup campaign, and Hohns insisted that duo would be considered should injury strike any member of the 15-man Cup squad.
"Josh was certainly an interesting one for us – of course his complete lack of match play over a period of time now obviously weighed against him … he's yet to prove he's fully fit," Hohns said in Brisbane.
"Whilst we thoroughly expect he will be in due course … the fact that he'd played probably only three one-day games for us over the last 12 months also weighed against him.
"However in saying that, he still remains an option for us for the World Cup if a replacement were to be required for one of our other fast bowlers.
"He along with of course Kane Richardson are the standby fast bowlers and we'd have to make a choice at that stage if somebody was required."
Last month, Hazlewood himself acknowledged his recovery was "cutting it a little bit close" but the fast bowler, who is ranked 12th on the ICC ODI bowling rankings, was nonetheless confident he would be fit to take part in the World Cup.
"When the squad gets announced I'll probably be 65-70 per cent (fit) and I've still got a good four or five weeks from that date to get ready to play one-day cricket," he said on The Unplayable Podcast.
"We head up to Brisbane early May, there's a couple of games against New Zealand I believe – I don't think I'll be fit for those but the one-day warm-up games in England (in late May) I think I'll be right.
"Cutting it a little bit close, I guess, but pretty confident."
ODI captain Aaron Finch, meanwhile, said Hazlewood's path back would more likely be with Australia A in both the one-day and four-day matches as preparation for his likely involvement in the Ashes, which begin on August 1.
"I think he's tracking really well for the Australia A series … the build-up to that starts a bit later," Finch told reporters in Melbourne. "So that will give him a bit more time to start getting his body up, particularly for the Ashes.
"He was well and truly in contention for this squad, no doubt, but it just comes down to he hasn’t bowled a huge amount, or at all.
"To go in with a few guys in that situation would be really tough on them.
"But he'll be 100 per cent for the Ashes, no doubt – he works as hard as anyone to get his body right and ticks all the boxes.
"If something happens to someone in the (World Cup) squad, I think all the guys in the Australia A squad will be tracking nicely to come in and fill any void."
South Australian Richardson has performed admirably as a death-bowling specialist in recent times with Australia and was one of a number of unlucky players to miss the squad, while his namesake Jhye earned a nod off the back of some standout ODI performances despite his own ongoing rehabilitation from a dislocated shoulder suffered in the UAE last month.
The right-arm quick has not played since, but Hohns expects the Western Australian to be fit and firing for the World Cup.
"Whether he's ahead of Josh in his recovery, that's a little bit uncertain, but indicators are Jhye will be able to take his place in the World Cup squad," the selection panel chair added.
"We'll get a better idea of that in the coming weeks.
"Jhye as we know has really performed quite well for us in the opportunities he's been given to date."
Australia's World Cup fixtures
May 25: (warm-up) England v Australia, Southampton
May 27: (warm-up) Australia v Sri Lanka, Southampton
June 9: India v Australia, The Oval
June 12: Australia v Pakistan, Taunton
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE