Australia received a major boost for the World Cup with injured fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc resuming bowling sessions at nets and staying on track to regain fitness for the extravaganza. While Hazlewood has been away since January due to a back injury, Starc pulled out of Australia’s limited-overs series against India last month due to a “substantial” muscle tear.
“When the squad gets announced I’ll probably be 65-70 percent and I’ve still got a good four or five weeks from that date to get ready to play one-day cricket,” Hazlewood said in a Cricket Australia podcast.
According to news agency AFP, Australia will announce the squad for the World cup by April 23. The team will train at a camp in Brisbane before the start of the tournament in the UK from May 30. The side is also expected to play a few warm-up matches with New Zealand before heading to Britain.
“I don’t think I’ll be fit for those but the one-day warm-up games in England I think I’ll be right,” Hazlewood said.
Speaking on Starc’s fitness, the 28-year-old added: “He (Starc) looks fine, he started bowling as well this week. He’s coming off not as big a break as me so won’t take him long to get up and running. He seems to be heading in the right direction.”
Jhye Richardson hopes to make World Cup squad
Australia seamer Jhye Richardson, who dislocated his bowling shoulder while trying to save a boundary during the second ODI against Pakistan last week on Sunday, is likely to regain fitness before the World Cup. Australia medical team revealed that scans have ruled out any bone damage or fracture for the 22-year-old.
“The scans demonstrated the usual soft tissue damage we expect following a dislocation but fortunately has excluded any bone damage or fracture,” Richard Saw, Australian men’s team doctor, said in a statement on Thursday.
“We are hopeful that Jhye will not require surgery but he will see a shoulder specialist early next week for a further opinion. We will be able to provide an update with respect to next steps once we have all the information on the table,” he added.
Speaking to Cricket Australia, Richardson said he is hopeful of making it into the squad for the big tournament. “Everyone in the Australian camp is hopeful, I’m hopeful and in high spirits,” he said. “I’m not ruling out the World Cup at this stage, that’s definitely not an option. It’s all about getting the shoulder right at this stage,” he added.
“JL (Coach Justin Langer) said he’s pleased with how I’ve been going about my business, I was really satisfied with how I played in India and going into the Pakistan series as well I was happy with the way I was playing. The shoulder injury is unfortunate, but these things do happen and I’m eager to bounce back quickly,” he said.