SYDNEY: Australia have received a boost with injured fast bowling spearheads Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc resuming bowling this week and on track to be fit for their World Cup defence.
Hazlewood has been sidelined since January with a back injury, while Starc pulled out of Australia’s Twenty20 and one-day tour of India last month with a “substantial” muscle tear.
The pair’s return to the nets is timely after Jhye Richardson returned home this week from Australia’s one-day series against Pakistan with a dislocated shoulder.
“When the squad gets announced I’ll probably be 65-70 percent and I’ve still got a good four or five weeks from that date to get ready to play one-day cricket,” Hazlewood said in a Cricket Australia podcast.
Australia’s World Cup squad must be named by April 23 with the tournament starting on May 30 in England.
The team will have a training camp in Brisbane in early May and are expected to play some warm-up games against New Zealand before heading to Britain.
“I don’t think I’ll be fit for those but the one-day warm-up games in England I think I’ll be right,” said Hazlewood.
Starc, the 2015 World Cup player of the tournament, is also faring well in his comeback since picking up the injury during the second Test against Sri Lanka in early February.
“He (Starc) looks fine, he started bowling as well this week,” Hazlewood said.
“He’s coming off not as big a break as me so won’t take him long to get up and running. He seems to be heading in the right direction.”