Vodafone Men's Ashes
Hazlewood ruled out of second Ashes Test
Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the second Vodafone Ashes Test in Adelaide starting on Thursday
13 December 2021, 10:10 AM AEST
Josh Hazlewood has officially been ruled out of the second Vodafone Ashes Test after suffering a mild side strain during the nine-wicket win in Brisbane.
Hazlewood flew home to Sydney on Sunday but was not officially ruled out of this week's day-night Test in Adelaide until Monday morning, paving the way for one of either Jhye Richardson or Michael Neser to break into the Test XI.
The 30-year-old, who will now commence rehabilitation in the hopes of being fit for the Boxing Day Test, didn't bowl on the third afternoon at the Gabba and was sent for a scan on Friday night which showed he was at least fit enough to bowl on Saturday.
The right-armer (1-32) got through six overs on day four and took the wicket of Jos Buttler for 23 as the hosts cruised to victory inside four days.
Australia's pace attack had a less than ideal preparation ahead of the Ashes after coming straight from the T20 World Cup with their only red-ball intra-squad hit out abandoned due to wet weather, but they still managed to claim all 20 English wickets at the Gabba.
Losing Hazlewood is a significant blow ahead of the day-night fixture in Adelaide as he boasts an impressive pink-ball record of 32 wickets at 19.90.
Richardson, 25, played two Tests against Sri Lanka almost three years ago and has been in outstanding form to start the Marsh Sheffield Shield season where he has taken 23 wickets at 13.43 in four games for Western Australia.
Hazlewood was also out with a back injury when Richardson made his debut in a day-night Test in Brisbane in January 2019 where he collected 5-45 for the match.
Uncapped Queensland paceman Michael Neser is also in good form after taking 5-29 and 2-36 in Australia A's 112-run win over the England Lions at Ian Healy Oval in Brisbane.
Speaking to cricket.com.au at the end of the first Test, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting tipped Richardson over Neser if the hosts were forced into changing their bowling attack.
"Richardson was obviously very close to playing this Test instead of Starc. He's in great form," said Ponting, noting that Neser had taken a five-wicket haul against the England Lions this week.
"When the ball's not swinging and seaming, I'd have him ahead of Neser as far as an all-round bowling package is concerned.
"Neser obviously thrives in swinging, seaming conditions that he gets at the Gabba – and might get at some stage in Adelaide – but I still think Richardson gets the nod (if required)."
First Test centurion Travis Head, opener David Warner and wicketkeeper Alex Carey flew out of Brisbane early on Sunday to reunite with their families in Adelaide, with the remainder of the squad to join them on Monday.
Warner is also under an injury cloud with bruised ribs, which prevented him fielding during England's second innings.
Vodafone Men's Ashes
Australia: Pat Cummins (c), Steve Smith (vc), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner
England: Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
First Test: Australia won by nine wickets
Second Test: December 16-20, Adelaide Oval
Third Test: December 26-30, MCG
Fourth Test: January 5-9, SCG
Fifth Test: January 14-18, Blundstone Arena