Cummins carried hip problem for more than a year

Australia’s limited-overs captain Aaron Finch revealed that Pat Cummins had been carrying his hip problem for more than a year as the injury list among his squad in Sri Lanka continued to grow.

Cummins, who was rested from the T20I series, left the IPL early to recover and is primed to return in the opening ODI in Pallekele on Tuesday, but he has played a significant amount of cricket, including his first two Test series as captain, while troubled by his hip.

“He’s very keen to go,” Finch said on the eve of the ODIs. “[He’s] fresh and recharged after getting over that hip injury. That had been lingering around for 12-14 months so for him to be able have a good solid recovery period and a training block, he looks like he’s up and running,

“It’s been something that’s been ongoing for a little while. Just causes him a lot of discomfort at times, there hasn’t been one particularly incidence, it’s just a gradual build-up and he hasn’t really had the time to really recharge and recover. So to have the time off at the back end of the IPL and these T20s was important for what is such a huge 18 months of international cricket.”

None of Australia’s frontline quicks are expected to play all five of the ODIs which come in the space of 11 days although the spate of injuries could increase workloads. Finch was hopeful of having Mitchell Starc back from his badly cut finger for the third game, but Kane Richardson has been ruled out of the series after suffering what was termed a “severe” hamstring injury before the final T20I, although how bad it was only emerged after the match in which he played.

“I wasn’t aware of [it] during the game so that was pretty big of him to be able to get through a T20 game at that intensity,” Finch said.

Kane, himself, had been an injury reinforcement to the squad for the first two matches following Starc being ruled out while Jhye Richardson had previously been called up as well.

Scott Boland has been brought across from the A-squad as cover after other fast-bowling options were unavailable. The selectors had considered Nathan Ellis, but he has picked up a groin injury playing for Hampshire, while Riley Meredith was not in a position to be called up following the IPL and Wes Agar, who played in West Indies last year, is still on his way back from injury problems.

Allrounder Sean Abbott was previously ruled out of the T20I series with a broken finger sustained at training early in the tour while Mitchell Marsh (calf) is out for at least the start of the ODIs. Cameron Green is not a bowling option for the first two matches as he builds up his workload.

Australia have still gone with three frontline quicks for the opening ODI – Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson – but are expecting to alter the balance of the side later in the series.

“It’s certainly testing at the moment,” Finch said. “Getting back to Colombo the wickets will be probably be a bit drier and we’ll look to play an extra spinner or potentially an extra allrounder to be able to get through the 50 overs. Not ideal but that’s a part of touring life.”

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