Adelaide, Jan 19: After defeating West Indies by ten wickets in the Test series opener at Adelaide Oval, captain Pat Cummins said fast-bowler Josh Hazlewood is being back to the best self which his team has always known. Hazlewood picked figures of 4/44 and 5/35, while completing 250 scalps in Test cricket.
Hazlewood has been playing this home summer's Tests consistently, after enduring side strain and achilles injuries which saw him miss two Tests against South Africa last year, being ruled out of tour of India and the World Test Championship final. The right-arm pacer then played four of the five matches in the Ashes in England.
"Getting up to Test level in terms of getting your body ready for Test cricket, once you're up there you're okay but once you have an injury or a setback it's sometimes hard to get going. He just had some injuries at the wrong times over the last couple of years and missed a couple of key series but he's back to the Joshy we all remember and know, and it just shows his worth to the team."
"With the new ball he can strike early and have them two or three down early before you know it. Right-handers, left-handers, basically all conditions he finds a way and as a captain it's pretty easy to give him the ball and know he's going to go to work. He's showed his class on two very different wickets (Sydney and Adelaide) that he'll find a way to take command of the game," Cummins was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Hazlewood, who also became the 11th Australia men’s bowler to take 250 scalps, felt it was good to be a part of the coveted club. "I never really look at milestones that often, it's just about doing my role for the team each time I go and play. Try and keep my best and worst spell really close together which I hope I can do for the rest of my career, as I've hopefully done for the start."
"It's just putting that ball in the right area, I know it sounds cliched but that's my role for the team – keep it dry, pick up the odd wicket, let the other boys attack. It's good to get part of the group though."
He also feels with the addition of all-rounders Mitchell Marsh and Cameron Green, the reduced bowling loads have helped him be at his best. "Luckily we haven't bowled too many back-to-back days or long days in the dirt, we've broken it up as best we possibly could. It feels like the perfect amount to have some really nice rhythm without cooking yourself."
"You don't always have that choice in Test cricket but it's nice when it works out. I love playing here, pink or red ball, there's still enough if you hang around that off-stump five or six metres (from the batter). It's like a nice thatch grass that a lot of the wobble seams grip, and there's just enough there all day." (IANS)