Josh Hazlewood, the Australia pacer, has been ruled out of the two-Test series against Sri Lanka with a back injury. Jhye Richardson, 22, takes his place in the 13-member squad.
Hazlewood, who serves as the joint vice-captain of the Test team, was rested for the one-day international series against India, which Australia lost 2-1. He had played through the Test series, bowling 74.1 overs across the four games.
He last had a back injury in 2010, which had ruled him out of the away Test series against India, and the Cricket Australia physiotherapist said he now had a back problem in the same area.
We are confident he will be available for selection ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup
“Josh has reported some back soreness over the last few days and scans have revealed a very early stage stress fracture in the same lower back area as his previous injury from last summer," said David Beakley, the physio.
While there was no clarity on when he would be back playing again, Beakley was confident it would be ahead of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup starting 30 May. “He will now begin a rehabilitation program and we are confident he will be available for selection ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the UK later this year," he added.
With six wickets in three games, Richardson was effective in the ODI series against India. The right-arm pacer has featured in seven ODIs and as many Twenty20 Internationals for Australia, but is yet to receive his Baggy Green.
"Jhye Richardson has had an impressive first half in his Sheffield Shield season and no-one could deny he has now continued that form in ODI matches for Australia. We consider Jhye to be an ideal replacement in the squad for Josh," said Trevor Hohns, Australia national selector.
Australia and Sri Lanka play two Tests in Brisbane and Canberra from 24 January and 1 February respectively.
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