Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins at a training drill Getty Images
Published in ESPN, Aug 4th, 2018 By ESPNcricinfo staff
Both men are undergoing rehabilitation for back injuries and, according to physiotherapist David Beakley, will not be able to recover in time to play the two-Test series in the UAE. “Pat and Josh are progressing well from their lumbar bone stress injuries but are not bowling, so, unfortunately, they will not be at the level required for Test match intensity come October.
“Barring any setbacks, we are hopeful that Pat and Josh will return via the back-end of the JLT One-Day Cup, with the aim of them being available for the ODI series against South Africa in November as they build towards the India Test series,” Beakley said before offering better news for Australia and their chances in the upcoming season.
“Mitchell Starc is back to unrestricted training and remains on track for the Test series against Pakistan.”
Starc eyeing return on Australia’s tour of UAE
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc believes he is not too far from bowling off of a full run up again as Australia prepare to face Pakistan in October
All three quicks were a vital part of Australia’s most recent Test campaigns. Cummins and Hazlewood took part in every match of the Ashes in November 2017 and the subsequent tour of South Africa in March 2018, picking up 45 and 33 wickets respectively in nine Tests. Starc missed the Boxing Day Test against England due to a heel injury and then a stress fracture of the tibia kept him out of both the Johannesburg Test and the IPL. He has since returned to training in the off-season.
Missing two of their big three fast bowlers does not appear to be a good news for Australia, who are not only looking to recover from the ball-tampering controversy that has followed over the past several months but also a poor record in Asia. In 24 Test matches over the last 10 years, they have won only three.
With spots opening up, the reserve quicks Jackson Bird and Chadd Sayers and those who have done well in the Sheffield Shield, such as the top-wicket taker Chris Tremain (51), will be hopeful of making the trip to the UAE.