Australian Cricket team fast bowler Josh Hazlewood will miss the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka owing to a back injury. Meanwhile, Jhye Richardson, the pacer from Western Australia, will join the side as his replacement. However, Australia’s physiotherapist, David Beakley sounded confident that Hazlewood will regain fitness for the ICC World Cup.

Hazlewood, who took a break from the recently-concluded three-match ODI series versus India, had previously sustained a stress fracture of the back in May last year. He had also suffered a back injury in September 2010 and subsequently missed the Test series in India. The 28-year-old has picked up 164 wickets at an average of just over 27 in Tests.

Josh [Hazlewood] has reported some back soreness over the last few days and scans have revealed a very early stage stress fracture in the same lower back area as his previous injury from last summer.

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He will now begin a rehabilitation program and we are confident he will be available for selection ahead of the ICC Cricket World Cup in the UK later this year,” said Beakley.

Richardson impressed in the Sheffield Shield

On the other hand, Jhye Richardson impressed in the ODI rubber versus India, taking six scalps. The 22-year-old, who made his first-class debut against Queensland in March 2016, earned his maiden call-up to the Test squad for the series versus South Africa last year. However, he didn’t play in any of the Tests.

KL Rahul, Josh Hazlewood, Australia vs India 2018
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Jhye Richardson has had an impressive first half in his Sheffield Shield season and no-one could deny he has now continued that form in ODI matches for Australia. We consider Jhye to be an ideal replacement in the squad for Josh Hazlewood,” Trevor Hohns, the chief selector noted.

The first of the two-match Test series between Australia and Sri Lanka will commence from January 24 at Brisbane.