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Hazlewood fit and ready for first Ashes Test

Australia seamer Josh Hazlewood has declared himself fit and ready for the first Ashes Test against England after getting through a first-class game last week.

Hazlewood, who had been sidelined with a side strain since September, took six wickets for New South Wales against Western Australia in a Sheffield Shield encounter in Sydney from 4 November.

The 26-year-old was due to play for his domestic side in another game before the first Ashes Test but has been pulled out and will instead join fellow Test pacemen Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird for training in Brisbane.

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Hazlewood said on Friday. “Things went pretty well the whole game. From ball one I was pretty surprised with how well the ball was coming out, how good the run-up felt, how good everything (was) in general.

“I’m pretty happy with where it’s at now so I don’t think there’s a need to play another game.

“I’m ready to go now and we obviously talk with the coaches and selectors and physios and whatnot, everyone is on the same page and ready to go.”

Australia’s injury problems with pace bowlers deepened on Friday with the news that Nathan Coulter-Nile was ruled out for the foreseeable future due to an old back injury.

The 30-year-old was in line to be the fifth seamer in the Ashes squad but joins James Pattinson on the injury list.

Hazlewood said about Courter-Nile: “I feel a bit sorry for Nath, but he’s done a lot of hard work to get back from different things and I’m sure he’ll put in the hard work again and come back from this one.”

The first Ashes starts at the GABBA on 23 November.