Josh Hazlewood in shock injury development during second Windies Test

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, pictured here in action for Australia.
Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are both missing the second Test against the West Indies. Image: Getty

Josh Hazlewood's latest injury setback has sent shockwaves through the Australian cricket team, with the star fast bowler in danger of sitting out the rest of the summer. Hazlewood was a late withdrawal from the second Test against the West Indies on Thursday, joining Pat Cummins on the sidelines.

At first it looked as if Hazlewood was just being rested after bowling 43 overs in the first Test in Perth. However it emerged on Thursday night that the New South Welshman has suffered another side strain - the same injury that saw him play just one of the five Ashes Tests last summer.

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"Hazlewood will return home tomorrow to continue his rehabilitation," a statement from Cricket Australia said. "He will be reviewed again at the completion of the match to determine his availability moving forward."

Cummins, who is also sitting out the day-night Test in Adelaide due to a quad strain, said he felt for Hazlewood. "He's pretty understandably flat," Cummins told Channel 7. "He was a little bit sore after the last Test match, had a bowl in the nets yesterday to prove his fitness and was a bit sorer than we'd all hoped."

Questions have now arisen over the Aussie fast bowlers' lack of red-ball cricket in the lead-up to the Test summer. Cummins, Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc were part of Australia's T20 World Cup campaign last month before each playing a part in a three-match ODI series against England.

"You have to wonder whether they should have been playing Sheffield Shield instead of a meaningless ODI series against England," journalist Peter Lalor said on Channel 7 in the wake of the news about Hazlewood. The initial side strain, coupled with coach Andrew McDonald's decision to favour spin on the autumn tour of Pakistan, meant Hazlewood had played only one Test match in 12 months before the series against the West Indies.

Josh Hazlewood, pictured here before the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide.
Josh Hazlewood looks on before the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The flat pitch in Perth has also come under fire after it offered little for the bowlers and forced the pacemen to toil harder than usual at Optus Stadium. Cummins also didn't bowl on the final day in Perth, meaning Hazlewood and Starc had to pick up some of the slack and bowl extra overs.

Speaking at the toss on Thursday, stand-in captain Steve Smith said he hoped Hazlewood would be available for the first of three Tests against South Africa, starting in Brisbane next Saturday.

"I'm not entirely sure (whether he will play)," Smith told Channel 7. "I guess the medical staff will monitor him closely this week. Fingers crossed."

After the three Tests against South Africa, the Aussies will travel to India in February for a blockbuster four-match series. They will then head to England for the Ashes in June.

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Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head dominate Windies

Meanwhile, centuries from Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head propelled Australia to 3-330 at stumps on the opening day in Adelaide. Labuschagne continued his sparkling start to the summer with an unbeaten 120 - notching for his third straight score of triple figures.

Head followed suit, bringing up his century 20 minutes before the close of play and going to stumps on 114 not out. Head and Labuschagne fourth-wicket partnership was 199 runs at stumps.

The pair batted Australia into a dominant position to press for a 2-0 series victory, against a West Indies attack lacking consistency and fitness. Labuschagne's latest century came after scores of 204 and 104 not out in Perth. His tally of 428 runs for the series is already the third-highest by an Australian in a two-Test series.

"Having that focus knowing there is a lot of cricket on, you want to make sure your game is in order," Labuschagne said. "Always thinking ahead. How are South Africa going to bowl to me? How are West Indies going to bowl to me?"

with AAP

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