World Test Championship

Michael Neser replaces Josh Hazlewood in Australia's World Test Championship Final squad

World Test Championship

By Jonathan Healy in London

Hit For Six!

Injury has caused Australia to make a late change to their 15-player squad for this week's ICC World Test Championship clash against India at The Oval, with experienced seamer Josh Hazlewood ruled out of the match due to his ongoing Achilles and side issue.

Hazelwood has been battling injury since he departed his stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore early during the Indian Premier League and Australia have decided to take no risks with the right-armer ahead of a busy upcoming schedule.

In-form all-rounder Michael Neser earns a call-up to Australia's 15-player squad for the one-off Test in south London and could come into contention to earn a place in their final XI if selectors opt to include him ahead of Scott Boland. His inclusion has been approved by the World Test Championship Final's Event Technical Committee. 

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Neser has been in excellent touch recently for Glamorgan in England's Country Championship, with the 33-year-old having claimed 19 wickets from five matches and even managed a to score a century against Sussex and Australian teammate Steve Smith during his most recent Division Two contest.

The right-armer has managed just two Tests during his career, but could find a place in the final XI and partner skipper Pat Cummins and fellow pacer Mitchell Starc for the World Test Championship Final.

Michael Neser was drafted in as a late replacement for Josh Hazlewood for the WTC final
Michael Neser was drafted in as a late replacement for Josh Hazlewood for the WTC final

Thirty-four-year-old Boland has played just seven Tests for his country - the most recent being the series opener against India at Nagpur in February - but has claimed 28 wickets at an imposing average of 13.42.

It is hoped Hazlewood will be available for selection for the first Ashes Test in Birmingham from June 16.

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Australia batter Marnus Labuschagne on how he is preparing for the ICC World Test Championship Final and the Ashes

Updated Australia squad: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey (wk), Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Josh Inglis (wk), Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, David Warner

Standby players: Mitch Marsh, Matthew Renshaw


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