Melbourne: Australia’s right-arm fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has declared himself fit for the Sydney Test against South Africa after being ruled out of the Boxing Day Test due to a side strain.
Hazlewood has been out of action after playing against the West Indies in the Perth Test. He then ruled himself out of the Boxing Day Test against South Africa on Christmas day when suggesting he was underdone, as local lad Scott Boland retained his spot in the playing eleven.
Now with Cameron Green and Mitchell Starc suffering finger injuries at the MCG, it means that two spots are up for grabs in the Australian Test playing eleven. “At this stage, I am (available). I’ve got a few more overs to bowl during this game in the nets, I had a good hit out two days ago.”
“All the signs are good and I feel ready and fit.. For this game, If I could bank on less than 30 overs today (Thursday) I would have been sweet. But if it goes deep� especially with Greeny (Cam Green) going down, 40 overs might have been a stretch so made the call before the game,” said Hazlewood to the SEN Test cricket show.
Asked if he will come in as a replacement for Starc, Hazlewood, who has picked 217 wickets in 58 Tests, did not have a definite answer for the same. “I think I’ll be right, yeah. I haven’t had a chat to them, but before this game, I had a good chat with them over a few days and it ended up being my call for the game, so I feel in a good position.”
The New Year’s Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground commences on January 4, with Australia looking to get a 3-0 clean sweep over a toothless South Africa. At the MCG, Australia thrashed South Africa by an innings and 182 runs, securing their first home Test series win against the Proteas since 2005/06.