George Bailey, the chairman of Australia’s selection committee, is optimistic that Josh Hazlewood can increase his level of fitness in the weeks leading up to the six-test tour of the UK in June. The 32-year-old fast bowler suffered from Achilles tendonitis over the course of the domestic summer, which prevented him from taking part in the Border-Gavaskar Test series.
The New South Welshman signed with Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this week, but it might take some time before he appears in their starting lineup. Bailey and the Cricket Australia selectors are depending on him to increase his bowling loads through the T20 league after naming a 17-member squad for the World Test Championship final against India and the five-Test Ashes series that begins after.
Bailey is Confident on Josh
Bailey stated on Wednesday (April 19) that Josh Hazlewood is still ramping up his return through the IPL. “Hopefully he gets a few games over there in the back half of that tournament and starts to ramp up his return,” Bailey said. He has some experience. He is very competent. Josh. He is fully aware of what and where he must be in order to perform at his peak for the Ashes. We communicate frequently with all the parties involved in that. He will be developing in some ways, so the four-over bursts in the IPL may be a good way for him to do so.
Michael Neser OFF, Hazlewood IN For UK Tour
Michael Neser, who had his best Sheffield Shield season for Queensland, taking 40 wickets at 16.67, is conspicuously absent from Australia’s squad for the tour of the UK while Hazlewood is on the comeback trail. He currently plays County Cricket for Glamorgan, giving selectors the option of calling him up if fast-bowling reinforcements are needed.
Participating in County Cricket is Fantastic
Sean Abbott and Michael Neser, who play county cricket there, are the other benefit or useful thing we have. They are obviously playing a lot of cricket on the ground, so we can call them in if necessary, Bailey said. “Having so many players participate in County cricket is fantastic. We watch every player over there as they engage in friendly competition. I believe that on the bowling front in particular, we have our top quicks over there. If we do need to call on someone quickly, we can then be very clear about who we need and why. and not necessarily have a member of the squad who turns out to be unnecessary.
In the meantime, Bailey tried to provide some clarification regarding the choice of maverick opener David Warner, saying that while the 36-year-old was expected to start the Test Championship final against India at The Oval as a sign of continuity, he flat-batted suggestions that the player was a lock to start the Ashes. Warner, 36, has been in sluggish form for a while; in his last 15 innings, he has only once reached the 50-run mark, though that one effort was a double-hundred against South Africa on Boxing Day.
EYE ON WORLD TEST CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
By attempting to win the World Test Championship final, “[Warner] is] invested and wants to make sure he helps us finish off a couple of consistent years on the Test front,” Bailey said. “From our point of view, that represents the culmination of a relatively stable two years. For a long time, the team has largely remained the same. We are certain that team and lineup can succeed.
“I don’t think we’ll lose that Test championship, specifically to Dave. Obviously, there will be planning going on behind the scenes, but we’ll see how that looks when we arrive. When transitioning from the Oval to the Ashes, the opposition and playing surface differ. We’ll resolve that, then. When we arrive, we’ll wait and see what the weather is like.