WTC final 2023: Josh Hazlewood ruled out, Michael Neser joins Australia squad as replacement

Hazlewood has been nursing an Achilles injury which ruled him out of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023 against India earlier this year as well. The pacer played three matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL 2023 before returning to Australia because of side soreness.

“Josh was very, very close to being given the green light but we are cognisant that our upcoming schedule means this is not a one-off Test match for us,” Chair of Selectors George Bailey said.

“This will give Josh an ideal preparation leading into Edgbaston. With six Test matches in a little over seven weeks we will need all of our fast bowling assets,” he added.

Michael Nesser, 33, who has played two Test matches since Ashes 2021-22, has been added as Hazlewood’s replacement. However, he is not expected to barge into the playing eleven. Scott Boland is very likely to join Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins as the third pacer.

“Michael’s County form has been strong and knowing that he was going to be close by allowed for him to keep playing and for us to be able to call on him. He is a great strength to have as part of the fast bowling group,” Bailey said about Nesser who is playing for Glamorgan in the ongoing County Championship 2023 in England.

Australia Squad for WTC final vs India: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Michael Nesser, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Todd Murphy, Matt Renshaw, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner

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