'I think we'll back him in' - Chief Selector George Bailey hints Josh Hazelwood might return for Sydney Test

Australia and England are slated to play the next Test on January 5 in Sydney.

Josh Hazlewood
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Josh Hazlewood. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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Josh Hazelwood missed the last two Ashes due to a side strain injury. But, it looks like the pacer might make a comeback in the fourth Test scheduled to start on January 5 in Sydney. The Australian pacers have dominated the English batters all through the three matches and Hazelwood’s inclusion might give them an extra edge.

Australia has gone in with three different pace attacks in the first three Tests. The first test was the only one where the trio of Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins bowled together. In the second Test, Australia brought in Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser. In the third Test, Scott Boland was picked ahead of Hazelwood who was still struggling with the injury. Starc is the only pacer to play all three matches.

Chief selector George Bailey has mentioned that the panel would not stop Hazelwood from featuring in the fourth test if he feels fit enough to compete.

“I’ve got pretty good faith in Hoff knowing his own body and trusting his own. He’ll build up as he would before any sort of Test. He’ll talk a lot with (assistant) Andrew McDonald and (physio) David Beakley to see how he’s going. If Hoff’s confident and he says he’s right to go I think we’ll back him in. He’s earned that trust,” Bailey said in a press conference.

‘It’s a great headache’ – George Bailey on picking the team after Josh Hazelwood comes back

In the next two Test matches, Australia is likely to have a squad containing all the five pacers. Also, all of them have performed exceptionally well in the three Tests and the selectors might have a huge headache deciding the pace attack for the next two Tests.

“That’s a headache. It’s a great headache. I’d much rather have that headache and some tough decisions to make than scratching our heads trying to find a solution to a problem, so I’m looking forward to working through that one and some hard conversations to have at some stage but would love nothing more than to have a full squad to be able to pick from. Obviously some hard conversations to be had at some stage,” Bailey added.