Australia suffer major setback as star quick ruled out of WTC final vs India, injury forces late change to squad
Australia named in-form all-rounder Michael Neser, has so far played only two Test matches in his career, as his replacement in the 15-man squad for the final
Just three days before the start of the much-anticipated World Test Championship final at The Oval, Australia suffered a major setback as a star bowler has been ruled out of the campaign forcing a late change to the squad. Ahead of the match against India which begins from June 7 onwards, experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out owing to his ongoing Achilles and side issue.
Hazlewood has long been battling the injury and that had led to his late joining to the Royal Challengers Bangalore side as well in the recently-concluded IPL 2023 season. And the struggle continued even after the early end to the campaign, with Australia deciding not to take further risk with the fast bowler with a busy schedule ahead.
Australia named in-form all-rounder Michael Neser, has so far played only two Test matches in his career, as his replacement in the 15-man squad for the final and now could be in contention for a place on the playing XI as well if the management opt to go for him over Scott Boland. The replacement was approved by the World Test Championship Final's Event Technical Committee.
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Neser's inclusion comes down to his impressive run in the County Championship for Glamorgan where he picked 19 wickets in just five matches while also scoring a century against Sussex.
Australia now hope that Hazlewood would be avilable for selection for the impending Ashes series that follows immediately after the WTC final.
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