Australia is set to be without Josh Hazlewood for the first Test against India in Nagpur, with the experienced fast bowler battling injury.
- Hazlewood could join Mitchell Starc on the sidelines for the first Test
- Scott Boland may be selected to play his first Test overseas
- The first Test begins on Thursday
Hazlewood has been troubled by an Achilles tendon complaint, with the injury surfacing before the Australian squad arrived in India for the four-Test series.
He is expected to join fellow quick Mitchell Starc on the sidelines.
Starc is unavailable for the first Test after injuring a finger during the recent Test series at home against South Africa.
All-rounder Cameron Green is available to play in Nagpur at this stage, but is not expected to bowl until the second Test in Delhi.
Hazlewood’s injury could open the door for Scott Boland to play his first Test outside of Australia.
Uncapped West Australian speedster Lance Morris is the other fast bowler in the 18-man squad, but Australia might not play its customary three quicks in India’s spin-friendly conditions.
“Scotty has bowled plenty at the MCG when it was a flat wicket, probably wasn’t swinging or reverse swinging so he knows how to work hard for a long period of time,” Hazlewood said at Australia’s training camp in Bangalore on Sunday.
“You’ve got Lance Morris who has worked hard on reverse swing for the last month and then a nice lead-in here with a few sessions.
“The guys are excited first of all to play in the [Indian] subcontinent, they both haven’t yet, but they’re very well qualified to do so.”
The series opener against India begins on Thursday, with the second Test starting on February 17.
Hazlewood endured an injury-interrupted summer in Australia.
He missed three consecutive Tests due to a side strain, before returning for the final match against the Proteas at the SCG last month.