COLOMBO: Australian Cricket Team faced one more blow as wicket-keeper batter Travis Head pull off a hamstring injury and was subsequently ruled out of the dead rubber fifth ODI against Sri Lanka.
Cricket Australia (CA) has confirmed on its website that a third member of the Aussies Test squad, Head, has also been injured ahead of the Test series against Sri Lanka after Mitchell Starc and Steve Simth had earlier sustained injuries during the ongoing tour.
Head, who has sustained a strain on a minor end during the fourth ODI match, will be rested in the final ODI whereas his participation in the first Test, scheduled next week is also under doubt.
“I’m not sure what he’ll be like for the Tests but he’s definitely not available for tomorrow,” said captain Arron Finch as reported by cricket.com.au.
As Head’s replacement, Josh Inglis might be set to make his ODI debut, or Australia might decide to alter the composition of their playing XI and deploy an additional bowler for the final ODI.
Meanwhile, Steven Smith, who has been dealing with a quad strain, is unlikely to be risked before the Tests while Mitchell Starc, who sustained stitching after cutting his finger on the spike of his boot in the first T20I, has still not recovered completely.
During the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka, Australia have witnessed a hefty number of injured players. Before the matches began, Sean Abbott was ruled out, followed by Marsh, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Agar, Starc, and Smith.
Head’s injury could also allow one of the Australia A squad members, who are currently in Hambantota for a final four-dayer against Sri Lanka A, to continue as a backup for the Tests, with Marcus Harris, Matthew Renshaw, and Nic Maddinson being the top contenders.
Meanwhile, it might also leave room for white-ball star Glenn Maxwell to make a Test return after three years.
It is pertinent to mention here that Australia have already lost the five-match ODI series 3-1 against Sri Lanka after winning T20I series 2-1. Both the teams are now set to lock horns in two-match Test series with the first Test scheduled from June 29 to July 3.