Australia captain also expects David Warner to be fit for Adelaide Test
Hazlewood had a scan on the third evening of the Gabba Test which revealed a “very minor” side strain and he was able to bowl five overs on the fourth morning having not been used after the 29th over the previous day.
“He’s a little bit sore,” Cummins said. “He came out today and was able to bowl, got through a really good spell. We just managed him, it’s a five Test summer and he’s key for us so don’t want to blow him out of the water on day three.
“Nothing too serious but didn’t want it to turn into a huge injury. The key is we don’t want to put him in jeopardy for the whole series. We’ll take our time.”
Jhye Richardson, who played two Tests in 2019, and the uncapped Michael Neser, fresh from a five-wicket haul for Australia A against England Lions, are the other two quicks in the Test squad should a replacement be needed.
Warner, meanwhile, is nursing painful ribs after a blow on the second day against Ben Stokes. He was off the field throughout England’s second innings and did not open in Australia’s small chase with Alex Carey promoted up the other. Australia said that Warner had been available to bat but with just 20 runs needed the risk wasn’t worth it
“Think he had a hit earlier and got through,” Cummins said. “Still pretty sore but should be right for Adelaide. We’ll monitor him but think he’ll be fine.”
Usman Khawaja is the spare batter in the squad having been beaten to the No. 5 spot by Travis Head. Although largely a middle-order player, he has opened in five Tests – including a day-nighter against South Africa in Adelaide where he made 145 – and has an average of 96.80 in the position.
However, it would be a disruption for Australia if they needed to make a change particularly given the uncertainty over Warner’s opening partner. Marcus Harris was unconvincing in Brisbane as he fell for 3 in the first innings and was saved by an inside edge against Chris Woakes from being lbw for a duck in the second.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo