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AUS vs SA: Josh Hazlewood ruled out of South Africa’s first test, skipper Pat Cummins likely to return for series opener

Australia will host a three-match test series against South Africa, with the first scheduled for Saturday 17 December at the Gabba. fast launcher Josh Hazlewood he has been ruled out of the first Test match with a lateral strain, while captain Pat Cummins is expected to recover from a quadriceps injury.

The Australian selectors named a 14-man squad on Monday for the highly anticipated match. The 31-year-old pacer is Australia’s only exclusion from the team that just swept the West Indies in a two-match test series and could return to the Boxing Day test. With Pat Cummins returning to the playing XI after missing the second Test, either Michael Neser or Scott Boland will be dropped in Brisbane.

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Australian bowlers Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood (Photo by Mark Metcalfe - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
Australian bowlers Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood (Photo by Mark Metcalfe – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

Josh Hazlewood will need more time – George Bailey

Michael Neser and Lance Morris have remained in the team for the game against the Proteas. Chief selector George Bailey is hopeful Cummins can play in the series opener. Bailey praised the performances of Neser and Boland in the Pink Ball Test against the West Indies. He believes Morris will benefit from spending time with the team.

“Pat continues to improve, he played freely on Saturday and looks likely to play this game, although Josh will need more time. With that in mind, we have retained Michael Neser and Lance Morris in the squad for this game.” Bailey said in an official statement.

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george bailey
George Bailey. Image credits: Twitter

“Michael played magnificently in Adelaide, as did Scott. We were impressed as always with their performances backing up what they have achieved in the past. Lance is a very exciting prospect who will benefit from time with the team. With so much cricket ahead of us, we continue to look for opportunities to grow and maintain our experience and depth in fast bowling.” added.

Australia team for the first test against South Africa

Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Lance Morris, Michael Neser, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

Also Read: IND vs BAN: “Virat Kohli will definitely send something to Litton Das because very seldom such catches are dropped in international cricket” – Ajit Agarkar

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