Josh Hazlewood remains a chance to play in the ICC World Test Championship final after Australia included the seamer in the 15-man squad to face India.
Under ICC regulations, Australia had to cut their 17-man squad for the first half of the England tour down to 15 for the Championship final on June 7 at the Oval.
Hazlewood flew home from the Indian Premier League early this month with a side issue, however he has been included in the group along with fellow quicks Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland.
Hazlewood’s inclusion means there was no need for selectors to bring Michael Neser or Sean Abbott into the squad as cover, with both still able to train with the team in the lead up.
Neser had loomed as a genuine option, having shown great form for Glamorgan in county cricket this year, with 19 wickets in five matches at 25.63
In comparison, Hazlewood has struggled for consistent time on the field and has been limited to four Tests since December 2021, with side strains and an Achilles issue hampering the 32-year-old’s involvement.
Hazlewood only bowled nine overs for Royal Challengers Bangalore during their IPL campaign, taking 3-76 before returning home ahead of his departure to the UK.
Mitch Marsh and Matt Renshaw are the two members of the 17-man squad to not be named in the 15-man squad for the ICC event, with Renshaw’s omission the strongest indication yet that Marcus Harris is the preferred opening back-up option.
Last week, Australia head coach Andrew McDonald offered strong support for veteran opener David Warner, whose record in England has led some to questioning how long he will continue in the Test side.
“We’re optimistic with what Dave’s got left, we picked him in the squad and we feel he’s going to play a really significant part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship final,” McDonald told SEN on Wednesday.
“That’s why he’s on the plane. We think he’s got some good games left in him.”
India’s squad remains unchanged from the one that was named by the No.2-ranked side in the world last month.
Squads for ICC World Test Championship final
AUSTRALIA: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner
INDIA: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, KS Bharat, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Ishan Kishan