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Hazlewood Ruled Out of Boxing Day Test, Langer Looks at Possible Replacement

Australia coach Justin Langer has ruled out fast bowler Josh Hazlewood out of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand, following the latter’s hamstring injury in the Perth Test.

Cricketnext Staff |December 15, 2019, 9:26 AM IST
Justin Langer

Australia coach Justin Langer has ruled out fast bowler Josh Hazlewood out of the Boxing Day Test against New Zealand, following the latter’s hamstring injury in the Perth Test.

The 28-year-old suffered a "low-grade hamstring tear" during the night session on day two at Perth.

Langer maintained there was no clear frontrunner between James Pattinson and Michael Neser, the two reserve fast bowlers, for the next Test.

"Without doubt, 'Patto' (Pattinson) and Michael Neser, they'll be in the squad 100 per cent and we'll look whether we replace Josh with another fast bowler," he told Cricket.com.au.

"The obvious one would be Peter Siddle actually. He did a really good job in the Ashes, he's bowling very well for Victoria and it's at the MCG where he's played a lot of cricket.

"We'll see what happens the rest of this game and then make a decision.

"Anyone who knows Patto, you've never seen energy like it. He's got the drive. He's said after his back surgery he'll do anything to play Test cricket again. It's a real credit he's got back to that.

"Being a Boxing Day Test he'll be jumping out of skin to play."

Langer also hinted at bringing back Mitchell Marsh into the squad, provided he is fully fit.

"He (Marsh) played the last Test at The Oval and we know how good he is," Langer said. "We've just got to wait and see. He's back up and running, he's not bowled much so he'll have to get his bowling loads up and we'll see what happens.

"There's a lot of talk about allrounders but the truth is, whether it's a club side, T20 side, Shield side, they all want an allrounder but there aren't many of them around."

Former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting is of the opinion that Pattinson should be the one replacing Hazlewood for the next Test.

"James Pattinson is the obvious one to come in," Ponting said.

"I think the Australians would have been tossing up whether to play Pattinson or Starc in the first Test in Brisbane and then 'Patto' ruled himself out with that suspension that he got.

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