Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood was today ruled out of next month's Test series against India due to a back injury, prompting the selectors to bring in Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson as stand-by players.
"Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of Australia's Test squad for the VB Tour of India after confirmation he has developed the early stages of a low back bone stress injury," Cricket Australia said in a statement. "The National Selection Panel announced Hazlewood's Blues teammate Mitchell Starc and Victorian James Pattinson will act as standby players for Hazlewood," it added.
Pattinson is currently with the Victorian squad playing in the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa and will remain with the Bushrangers until their finals chances are determined.
"During the past week, Josh Hazlewood developed low back pain while bowling in preparation for the upcoming VB Tour of India Test series," Australian physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.
"His symptoms were consistent with a low back bone stress injury and scans have confirmed the early stages of a low back stress fracture," he added.
"As such, he has been withdrawn from the Test series, as he will require a period of rest from bowling to allow the bone stress to resolve." NSP Chairman of Selectors Andrew Hilditch said the two players chosen to be on standby have done well during their stint at the Australian Center of Excellence.
"Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson are two fast bowlers who made a significant impression during their time at the Cricket Australia Center of Excellence this year. "We are adding these two standby players to ensure we have adequate cover for the tour game being played before the first Test.
The need for these standby players to return to Australia will be determined at the end of the tour match," he said. The opening Test of the two-match series starts October 1 in Mohali.