Sydney, Nov 25 : Injuries to five players - Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson, Pat Cummins, Shaun Marsh and Shane Watson – has hampered Australia’s preparations for the first Test against New Zealand.
All had been under injury clouds leading into the series opener against the Kiwis in Brisbane from next Thursday and their absence is a significant blow for the Michael Clarke’s side.
All-rounder Watson has failed to overcome a hamstring injury picked up during the side’s win over South Africa in Johannesburg.
Cricket Australia general manager Pat Howard said: “We unfortunately suffered some injuries during the recent Test series against South Africa. With such a short turnaround time between series, five players who were involved in the series will not fully recover in time to play the first Vodafone Test against New Zealand.”
The injuries leaves David Warner set to make his Test debut at opener, with Usman Khawaja to remain at No. 3.
The bowling side is also facing crisis with Peter Siddle effectively the last fit pacer, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
“Pat Cummins experienced left heel pain towards the end of the second innings in his debut Test match,” said Australian team physio Alex Kountouris.
"He had scans that have cleared him of any serious injury but we don’t expect that he will fully recover in time. He will be reviewed early next week to determine his workload plan for the summer.”
Shaun Marsh has also failed to recover in time from a back injury suffered during Australia''s loss to South Africa in the first Test at Cape Town a fortnight ago.
The dearth of quicks at Australia''s disposal leaves great uncertainty around the shape of the pace attack for Brisbane. (ANI)