Brisbane: In a major blow to Australia, right-arm pacer Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of the second ODI of the five-match series against England after picking up a viral infection. The 27-year-old, who has been rested for his side’s shocking five-wicket defeat against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), was due to rejoin the squad for the Gabba Test to be held on Friday.
However, the team officials confirmed that the right-arm quick was ill with a virus and that he would now head home to Sydney. While Pat Cummins will spend some time at his home in Sydney after playing at the MCG, Jhye Richardson, who has played two T20I matches for Australia against Sri Lanka last summer, is most likely to make his debut in the absence of Hazlewood, cricket.com.aureported.
It should be noted that Hazlewood is the latest player to be taken ill in the recent weeks after Tim Paine, David Warner, Steve Smith and Patrick Cummins as well as England captain Joe Root and batsman James Vince were all struck down with illness since the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. Both Cummins and Smith had an upset stomach during the fourth Ashes Test, which settled for a dramatic draw in Melbourne.
While Warner was also ruled out of the opening ODI due to illness, Paine was ill with a gastro bug but he took part in some ‘keeping drills’ with coach Darren Lehmann at the Gabba recently. Australia, who are currently trailing 0-1 in the five-match series, will aim to bounce back in the series when they head into the second Test, while England will look to continue their momentum after having lost the Ashes series 0-4.