Australia coach Justin Langer has defended the decision to overlook world champion Josh Hazlewood for his nation’s defense of their title.
The selectors chose to call Kane Richardson replace Jhye Richardson, and Hazlewood focused on making sure he was fit and fired for the Ashes series this summer.
The Seamer won the World Cup in 2015 and was not the # 1 in the international one-day bowling ranking of MRF Tires ICC until 2017. Since November last year, he is no longer over 50 because of a back injury.
Hazlewood called the snub “bitterly disappointing,” but head coach Langer said a recall for the upcoming flagship tournament could not be justified given his recent lack of white-ball cricket.
He has just played no T20 and no Daycricket, “Langer said. He has a second stress fracture on his back and while he’s just starting to get up and running in the nets, he’s probably played six white balls in the last 18 months.
“We know he’s a great bowler, he’s a brilliant bowler, but it was such a bad timing for him, he’s a great guy, he was vice-captain of the team, he’s a brilliant bowler … his numbers above the last four. ” Years have been good, but he has not played enough in the last 18 months.
“I’m sure he’s disappointed, there are some people who are disappointed not to be in the squad, hopefully through Australia, a series where he can play cricket again … we can not wait to welcome him again. “
Australia are in good shape after England have been whitewashed 5-0 in the United Arab Emirates, and confidence is high following the return of high-stakes batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner.
And Langer is looking forward to testing his team’s progress on May 25 against the “glowing favorites” England. This is one of two warm-up matches before Australia take on Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol.
“You play brilliant cricket, right?” Langer said of England. “They are obviously the latest favorites for the tournament, they play here in their home country, they play brilliantly and they deserve to be number 1 in the world.
“So we look forward to playing them, there are always good rivalries between us and it will be nice to see us fighting the best team in the world.”