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Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood has being diagnosed with a side strain and will therefore miss the remainder of the ongoing Test series against India. He has also been ruled out of the upcoming ODI series in India next month.
Hazlewood suffered the injury when bowling the first ball of his second over on the third day of the first Test in Mirpur.
Despite attempting to stretch and walk off the pain, Hazlewood left the field to receive medical treatment.
By the end of the day, it was confirmed that Hazlewood would be returning to Australia as his injury would take at least a month to heal.
Pat Cummins, who was the only other specialist seamer included in Australia’s side for the first Test, admitted that the loss of Hazlewood is a huge blow for Australia.
To make matters worse, Hazlewood would have been very handy in the second Test in Chittagong, which begins on September 4, as the pitch conditions are expected to be more pace friendly than Dhaka.
“He’s going to be really hard to replace. He’s played all but one of the last 30 Tests,” Cummins said. “He said it is going to be pretty hard sitting at home, watching; he hasn’t done that for three or four years. So he’s a big member around the group. I am going to miss having dinner with him every night, but we have got Jackson Bird waiting in the wings, which is great.
“He’s been bowling beautifully here. Again, someone who has been around the team a long time and been bowling really well. Had some great performances for Australia in the past as well. It’s not good to miss Joshy, but we’re lucky we have such a strong squad over here.”
Meanwhile, Cummins also heaped praise on opener and vice-captain David Warner as he struck an unbeaten 75 to leave Australia just 156 runs away from victory going into the fourth day.
“Keeping our target to 260 really kept us in the game, and then starting like we did tonight, if we have a good first hour tomorrow, it should really set the game up,” Cummins said. “That last hour or so should give us a lot of confidence, I am certainly really confident.
“Smithy and Dave look like they had really good game plans out there and they were in control. So that is really promising, and it is only 150 runs or so away, so a good couple of hours in the morning and, hopefully, we get pretty close.
“[Warner is] such a big player for us and you could just see it in his eye when he was out there. He was so focused. We always say, ‘be the bull’, and he looked like he was the ‘Bull’ out there; just focused and taking the game on. He got his 50 rapidly, and I think it just changes the whole momentum but also the mindset for the other batsmen who are to come in, just taking the game on. It is great.
“We spoke about, especially in the India series, and again here, really backing what works for you back in Australia. So, if you don’t run down the wicket, you don’t have to run down the wicket here. If you don’t sweep, you don’t have to sweep. Just sticking to your game plan, but making sure it is a strong game plan.
“I think today showed just a really, really strong solid defence, and when he needed to, his brutal stroke making. So it is definitely the ‘Bull’ we have come to expect and it is great to see it out here as well.”