Josh Hazlewood to miss initial stage of IPL 2023; Glenn Maxwell doubtful for RCB’s opening clash vs MI
RCB will miss the services of Josh Hazlewood for the initial stages of IPL 2023. Glenn Maxwell is also doubtful for the season opener.
Josh Hazlewood will miss the initial stage of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as the Australian pacer is still recovering from an injury. However, the Aussie quick remains hopeful of turning out for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the latter stages of the tournament. Pacer Hazlewood has endured a frustrating time with injuries and niggles, the latest of which is an Achilles problem that kept him out of the entire Border-Gavaskar series in India recently.
He has missed games with side strains over the last two home Test summers and suffered the Achilles problem after bowling on damp run-ups at the SCG Test against South Africa in January. Hazlewood, whom RCB picked for INR 7.75 cr at the mega auction in 2022 was expected to spearhead their bowling attack, but he remains in Australia after he was sent back home during the Border-Gavaskar Test series and will only play any part in the IPL after consulting Cricket Australia’s medical staff.
Australia face a hectic schedule over the next few months with the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India and five Ashes Tests all in the UK in June and July, followed by limited-overs cricket in September in preparation for the 50-over World Cup in India in October and November.
While Hazlewood remains keen to play a part in the IPL, he stresses that Test cricket remains his No. 1 priority. “As fun as T20 is and as lucrative as it is, I find it still plays second fiddle to Test cricket,” Hazlewood said in February while in Bengaluru. “This series, Ashes series, home summers are what you play cricket for. I don't think that will ever change. It's probably about short-term loss versus long-term gain a lot of the time. You've got a T20 World Cup or an IPL or a one-day series, it's about still ticking those boxes off the field to be ready to go for a Test series.”
While Hazlewood remains unavailable for now, Glenn Maxwell who played only the first ODI against India remains a doubt for the opener against Mumbai Indians (MI) as he recovers from a leg injury. Maxwell, who broke his leg in a freak accident last November, found the return to ODI cricket more challenging than expected according to Australia selector George Bailey.
Maxwell has been working hard on strength and conditioning with the RCB in order to be fit for the opener against MI, for whom Aussie all-rounder Cameron Green is set to make his debut. Green was one of the most sought-after players in the 2023 auction and he was bought by MI for an eye-watering INR 17.5 cr. Green joined up with his team this week following a short break after the conclusion of the Border-Gavaskar series.
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