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News

Back injury ends Lance Morris' Ashes dream, IPL key for Josh Hazlewood

Michael Neser and Sean Abbott could provide back-up from county cricket

AAP
19-Apr-2023
Lance Morris' hopes of a Test debut have been halted by a back problem  •  Getty Images

Lance Morris' hopes of a Test debut have been halted by a back problem  •  Getty Images

Tearaway quick Lance Morris has been put on ice in a bid to rebuild his body for the home summer, after a back injury ruled him out of Ashes calculations.
Australia opted to name only the four fast bowlers in their 17-man squad on Wednesday for the opening half of their tour of England, with Scott Boland picked alongside the usual pace trio.
Morris had been part of Australia's squad for the majority of the home summer, before the West Australian earned his spot in a touring party for this year's series in India.
But a flare up of a back injury has restricted him from bowling for up to six weeks, ending any hope of being in the initial touring squad and rendering him unlikely to be called up beyond that. He had also been due to play for Northamptonshire next month.
"He's having a bit of a de-load period, which I think is about four-to-six weeks, and then he will start to start to build after that," chief selector George Bailey said. "Conservatively, we'll probably look to rebuild Lance and hopefully have a really big crack at the summer.
"He'll get another scan in four-to-six weeks and we'll get a better indication of of how that back's going."
Bailey indicated on Wednesday that it was unlikely Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood would be able to play all six Tests, with the World Test Championship final and five-match Ashes series over in the space of two months.
Hazlewood is returning from two lengthy injury lay-offs in the IPL, with the seamer in constant conversation with Australian medical staff on building up his workload outside of games.
There are three short turnarounds throughout the England tour, with Bailey noting it was hard to determine if bowlers would be managed until it was clear how quick matches were completed.
Australia have traditionally taken more than one back-up quick on long tours, but Michael Neser and Sean Abbott are among a plethora of Australians playing in the County Championship and able to be called up.
"If we do need to call upon another quick we can we can be really specific around who we need and why," Bailey said. "And then not necessarily have someone in the squad who ends up being superfluous."
Bailey also said Australia's decision to include Mitchell Marsh as a back-up to Cameron Green shows officials realise an allrounder is now crucial to their team balance.