MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: Fast bowlers Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have been ruled out of Australia's Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates after failing to recover from injuries, further depleting an already inexperienced side.
Australia head to the UAE for a Test series slated for October without two of their most experienced campaigners, with former captain Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner suspended after a ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in March.
With Cummins and Hazlewood still recovering from their lumbar bone stress injuries, much sting has been taken out of the attack of the Tim Paine-led squad.
"Pat and Josh are progressing well from their lumbar bone stress injuries but are not bowling, so unfortunately they will not be at the level required for Test match intensity come October," team said physiotherapist David Beakley in a statement. "Barring any setbacks, we are hopeful that Pat and Josh will return via the back-end of the (domestic) JLT One-Day Cup, with the aim of them being available for the ODI Series against South Africa in November as they build towards the Indian Test series."
Australia play South Africa in the first one-dayer of the three-match series in Perth on November 4 before hosting India for three Twenty20, four Tests and three one-day internationals.
Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Starc, however, remains on track to be fit for the USE tour, Beakley said. "On a positive note Mitchell Starc is back to unrestricted training and remains on track for the Test Series against Pakistan," said Beakley.