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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Australia's Hazlewood rested for opening Pakistan ODI; Hafeez recalled

Australia's Hazlewood rested for opening Pakistan ODI; Hafeez recalled

January 08, 2017 17:00 IST

Josh Hazlewood bowls during an Australian training session

IMAGE: Josh Hazlewood bowls during an Australian training session. Photograph: Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood will be rested for Friday's one-day international series opener against Pakistan at Brisbane to manage the fast bowler's workload, coach Darren Lehmann said on Sunday.

The 26-year-old Hazlewood and pace spearhead Mitchell Starc played all six tests in the home summer and were expected to be rested for some of the matches in the five-match series ahead of a four-test tour of India starting next month.

"He's not injured but we have decided to give him a week to freshen up at home and he will link up with the ODI squad in Melbourne ahead of the second match of the series," Lehmann said in a statement.

"Although, if one of our other fast bowlers picks up an injury in the run-up to Friday's first game at the Gabba then he could be called up to slot in."

Pace bowler Billy , who stands 2.04 metres tall and has been in fine form in the Big Bash League (BBL) for the Adelaide Strikers, is likely to make his debut if Australia opt to play three pacemen at the Gabba.

Meanwhile, Pakistan have recalled experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez for the five-match one-day series against Australia after his bowling action was cleared by the ICC.

It is Hafeez's first selection in the national team since he cleared the ICC's bowling assessment test in Brisbane in November. He has already returned to bowling his off-breaks in domestic cricket.

Mohammad Hafeez

On the eve of his departure for Australia, Hafeez said he was looking forward to the challenge of doing well in the ODI series and helping Pakistan record some wins.

"It is a big challenge for me as I only resumed bowling one month back in domestic cricket and it has been nearly one and half years since I have bowled in international cricket," he told PTI.

"I consider myself as a batsman who can bowl but I know that if I am selected for any match the team will also be depending on my bowling but I can deal with the pressure," he added.

Hafeez, who has taken a total of 227 wickets in all three formats for Pakistan besides his nine Test and 11 ODI hundreds, has been out of favour with the national selectors after his last appearance in the first ODI against England in August.

The ICC had slapped a 12-month ban on the all-rounder in June last year and stopped him from bowling in international cricket after bowling action was reported after a Test in Sri Lanka.

He later also failed a bowling test.

An official of the Pakistan Cricket Board said the team management in Australia had asked for the late inclusion of Hafeez and the national selectors had accepted their request.

The first ODI is due to be played on January 13.

Image (bottom, left): Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez

Photograph: Pal Pillai/Getty Images

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