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Michael Neser should get the nod for Adelaide Test: Doug Bollinger

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Adelaide, Dec 13 (IANS) Former Australian pace bowler Doug Bollinger wants to see Michael Neser as the one to replace the injured Josh Hazlewood in the second Ashes Test beginning here on December 16.

Hazlewood was officially ruled out of the day-night game after the 30-year-old pacer suffered a side strain during the home team’s nine-wicket win in the first Test at The Gabba.

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Hazlewood reportedly flew out of Brisbane to Sydney on Sunday afternoon for further assessment and rehabilitation with a decision on his fitness for the Boxing Day Test (Melbourne, December 26) to be made in due course.

The Cricket Australia (CA) selection panel will likely choose between Queensland’s Michael Neser and Western Australia’s Jhye Richardson as Hazlewood’s replacement.

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However, Bollinger, who played 12 Tests and 39 ODIs for Australia snaring 112 wickets in the two formats, besides also donning the Chennai Super Kings jersey in his professional career, said that he would go with Neser.

“I’d love to see Michael Neser,” Bollinger said on SEN 1170 Mornings on Monday. “He’s thoroughly deserved it. He’s been very consistent for a few years now and he can bat… he has a (Sheffield) Shield hundred.”

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Neser is yet to receive his Baggy Green cap despite being a member of the Australian Test squad since 2018. The 31-year-old right-arm seamer has 236 wickets in 124 innings at an average of 24.47 in Shield cricket and is a valuable lower-order batter, averaging 24.48 with a century to his name.

He also stood out in Australia A’s win over the England Lions, snaring seven wickets for 65 for the match including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

On the other hand, his competitor, Jhye Richardson, 25, has played two Tests against Sri Lanka in 2019 and has taken 23 wickets at an average of 13.43 in four Shield games this season.

Bollinger felt that the selectors have their task cut out as both Richardson and Neser had proved their worth.

“It’s a great problem to have. We’ve still got other guys that can bowl as well. I’m chucking Scott Boland in there. Hits the wicket very hard… in his last Shield game he got a five-for,” said Bollinger.

–IANS

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