Things are going from bad to worse for the Australian Test team with Josh Hazlewood set to join skipper Pat Cummins in flying home from India. Cummins will fly home from the tour of India due to a family illness.
With 10 days between the second and third Tests, News Corp reports Cummins will fly home to Sydney before rejoining his teammates.
Cummins, 29, hails from the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, and resides in Vaucluse with wife Becky and son Albie.
The Australian players will have a couple of days’ respite after another humiliating defeat in Delhi before resuming training in Indore.
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Now even more damning news has struck the Aussie camp with two more stars set to join Cummins on a plane home. Hazlewood has failed to overcome the achilles injury which has seen him sidelined since the New Year’s Test in Sydney, he’ll be ruled out entirely for the remainder of the series.
News Corp’s Peter Lalor is reporting David Warner could join the duo in flying home from India in order to recover from a fractured elbow injury he sustained during the first innings of the second Test, putting his spot in the series for the remaining two Tests well and truly up in the air.
Mitchell Swepson also left the squad ahead of the second Test for the birth of his first child, and will return to the group in preparation for the third Test.
The Delhi Test saw one of the craziest Australian batting collapses in recent memory, with Cummins on Sunday admitting Australia’s batsmen slipped “away from their methods” after an over-reliance on sweep shots in the six-wicket loss.
The Tour has been a disaster for Cummins with the Australian captain facing a barrage of criticism from former Australian Test players for his leadership, attitude and personal performances.
Cummins was slammed for his brain snap which saw him bowled for a golden duck in the second innings as Australia lost 8/28.
“That’s just a horrible shot from the captain,” Aussie great Michael Hussey said.
Fox Cricket’s Brendan Julian also said: “That’s terrible. I don’t know what he was thinking Pat Cummins. First ball, I reckon he just thought ‘I’m going to be positive’ and panicked.”
He was also slammed for going missing in India’s First Innings where the home team recovered from the brink of collapse with a bottom order fight back.
Aussie Test legend Matthew Hayden said he wanted Cummins, as captain and the only fast bowler selected for the Test, to bowl the tough overs when the ball had gone soft in the final overs before the new ball was available.
“These are Pat Cummins’ overs right now,” Hayden said.
“Pat Cummins needs to come on and bowl two or three overs of explosive stuff.”
This India tour was always shaping as the biggest test of Cummins’ captaincy career so far.
After an innings defeat in the First Test and the disastrous second innings collapse in Delhi, Australian cricket is turning to Cummins for answers.
While India have retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for the fourth consecutive series, the series is very much alive in many ways for the Australians.
In order to secure a place in the World Test Championship final in June, the Australians need to avoid being swept 4-0 in India.
If India do manage a whitewash at home, Australia will be barracking for the little brother over the Tasman, as a 2-0 home defeat for New Zealand against Sri Lanka would see the Sri Lankans qualify for the final, despite being ranked seventh in the format.
The tourists resumed on 61-1 but lost their remaining wickets in just over 90 minutes to fold for 113 in a dismal morning session on a tricky, low-bouncing New Delhi pitch.
India spinner Ravindra Jadeja dazzled with seven wickets to bring down the curtains on Australia as the hosts took an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the four-match series.
“Disappointed, we were ahead of the game but we slipped,” said Cummins after his team’s second straight Test loss inside three days.
“Everyone controls their own game, some balls just have your name,” he added.
“But I think there will be a review.
“Shot choice, did we go about it the right way?”
Six of the 10 Australian batsmen including Steve Smith and David Warner’s concussion substitute Matt Renshaw fell after attempting the sweep or reverse sweep as Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, who took three, wreaked havoc.
“I thought they bowled really well, it’s not easy out there, but perhaps some guys went away from their methods,” Cummins told reporters.
“Each batter has their own way to go about it.
“I don’t think there’s any one size fits all rule.
Indian skipper Rohit Sharma said the sweep was “not a very good option” for the tourists.
“Stepping out to the spinners was probably the safer option,” he added.
“That is my view.”
The third Test starts on March 1 at Indore with Cummins hopeful that “a bit of a refresh” will spur a turnaround for his side and better application from the batters.
“That’s quite an experienced change room, a few of the batters have scored runs in similar conditions before, they found a way.
“So absolutely, it’s still a series to draw.”
Australia lost David Warner to concussion after he got hit on his head in the first innings but Cummins hasn’t ruled the opener out of the third Test.
“Davey is still a bit sore and sorry.
“So we’ll manage and see how he goes over the next few days.”