Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 5
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 08: Josh Hazlewood of Australia looks on during day five of the Third Test match in the series between Australia and South Africa at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 08, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Australia v South Africa - Third Test: Day 5

Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood has been included in Australia's 15-man squad selected to face India in the upcoming World Test Championship final at The Oval on June 7.

He was added alongside top-order batsman Marcus Harris as Australia cut their 17-man side to 15 under ICC regulations. All-rounder Mitch Marsh and batter Matt Renshaw were omitted from the original side, while Michael Neser and Sean Abbott were notably left out due to Hazlewood's inclusion.

Neser's 19 wickets through five matches for Glamorgan this year had him touted as an in-form candidate for the final squad. Hazlewood's body of work and track record in England, however, saw him fit to be picked.

Still, the decision is a risk; injuries and a gradual wear-down of his body have held Hazlewood to just four test appearances in 18 months and forced him to exit the IPL season earlier this month. With the final set to begin in less than two weeks, it appears unlikely he will be at full fitness for a potential five-day marathon Test match.

The Harris inclusion puts extra pressure on opener David Warner, who has failed to perform to his lofty standards in recent tests, especially in the UK. However, selectors may stick fat with Warner given the unknowns of facing India on neutral territory.

Australia's coach Andrew McDonald spoke on David Warner's chance of playing on SEN last week, stating "we picked him in the squad and we feel he's going to play a really significant part in the Ashes and the World Test Championship final."

"That's why he's on the plane. We think he's got some good games left in him."

These decisions could prove costly to Australia's chances, but conversely may help lift them to a famous victory over the number two ranked Test side in the world when the Test begins on June 7.

AUSTRALIA'S WTC FINAL SQUAD: Pat Cummins (c), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Todd Murphy, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner