The build-up to the Ashes series had witnessed 2 English pacers, Jake Ball and Steven Finn, being ruled out and it’s time for the Australian camp to suffer as the fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile won’t take any part in the series owing to the recurrence of a nagging back injury.
The pacer had been in a good rhythm and was bowling consistent lines and lengths. He had even accounted for the wicket of England’s Alastair Cook in the practice match in Perth. The news of his omission comes as a setback for Australia as he was in contention for a place in the side.
“Nathan Coulter-Nile has been sidelined with an “aggravation” of a previous stress fracture that curtails his Ashes dreams but could see him return to cricket at the back end of the summer,” Cricket Australia announced on Friday.
“Nathan experienced some pain in his back following the two-day tour match against England last week. Subsequent scans have revealed an early stage aggravation of his old stress fracture,” Cricket Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager Alex Kountouris was quoted as saying.
“Whilst this is a setback, the good news is that it has been picked up early so we are only considering a short break from bowling while we monitor him.We expect he will have further scans over the next month which will determine when he can return to bowling,” he added.
The good news for Australia though is that Mitchell Starc is fit and raring to go. He had picked up 2 hattricks in the same game recently in a Sheffield Shield match. Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are the other 2 fast bowlers who are almost certain to feature in the playing XI.
For the Tests to be played in Brisbane and Perth, the pitch assists pacers and Australia might have had plans to go in with 4 seamers and that’s when Coulter-Nile could have been slotted in. It remains to be seen who comes in as a replacement for him.