AUS vs WI 2nd Test: Josh Hazlewood ruled out of 2nd Test, Michael Neser joins squad

Written by Abhishek Patil

Michael Neser has joined Scott Boland in being recalled for the second NRMA Insurance Test in Adelaide after Josh Hazlewood was a late scratching for the day-night clash with West Indies.

With captain Pat Cummins already ruled out with a quad complaint, Hazlewood will also sit out the contest due to “general soreness” as Cummins’ fill-in as captain, Steve Smith, won the toss and opted to bat first.

Neser was marking out his run-up out before play on Thursday afternoon, with a team spokesperson confirming Hazlewood would miss after sending down 43 overs during the Perth Test.

It is a remarkably similar situation to the one Australia found themselves before last year’s Adelaide Test against England, when both Cummins (COVID-19 close contact) and Hazlewood (injury) also missed to see two new bowlers brought in as well as Smith taking the captaincy reins.

Neser made his debut in that Test, and has not played for Australia since, while Jhye Richardson was also brought in.

With only Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon remaining from the Perth Test here, Australia have once again turned over half their frontline bowlers.

The fact they knocked England over on the final day of last year’s Adelaide Test may have again emboldened the hosts to back their bowling depth.

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Abhishek Patil