Sydney, Sep 30 (IANS) Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood believes bigger boundaries and quicker pitches in Australia will play into the hands’ of hosts ahead of their Men’s T20 World Cup title defence starting from October 16.
Hazlewood, one of the key reasons of Australia winning the silverware for the first time in 2021, will again be the vital cog in the wheel when the Aaron Finch-led side will open their campaign against New Zealand in a re-match of last year’s final on October 22 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
Before that, Australia have two T20Is against two-time champions, the West Indies and three T20Is against 2010 winners England apart from one practice match against India, to whom they recently lost 2-1 in a recent week-long tour, on October 17 at The Gabba.
“It was a great test to see where we’re at (on series against India). A number of guys got to bowl the end against probably the best hitters in the game on the fattest wickets and smallest boundaries.”
“There’s always stuff to work on – what fields you want at certain times, what balls you’re bowling, how you’re sequencing it. “But there’s no (better) practice than that and we will be better off for the run.”
“T20 in Australia is probably better for the bowlers in a lot of regards. The fields are bigger, wickets might have a bit more pace … you can use those big boundaries to your advantage,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au on sidelines of NRMA Insurance being new Men’s Test series naming sponsors.
Hazlewood further spoke about the intense competition in the Men’s T20 World Cup, where they almost lost to South Africa in the opening match and came back to win the trophy after an eight-wicket thrashing by England.
“We were very close to losing against South Africa the first game (in the UAE last year). It’s very cut-throat and it probably adds to the excitement from ball one that it’s game on and there’s no warm ups. There’s probably an extra level intensity for the tournament.”
Hazlewood signed off by saying that apart from the Men’s T20 World Cup, he’s aiming to get back to the Test side. Last year, Hazlewood played just one Test in the Ashes due to injury and played just one Test on tour of Pakistan in March this year.
“I’m actually really looking forward to the red-ball stuff coming up. I haven’t played a great deal the last few years, which has been a little bit disappointing. But I’m really looking forward to the Test summer.”