Fresh from a man of the series performance in the tri-series in the Caribbeans, Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood believes that he is in the form of his life.
“I think so,” Hazlewood said when asked if he was in career-best form.
“The rhythm feels really good. I think (my form is down to) just the continuous cricket, getting to the park and knowing what you can control with your body, how you’re feeling.
“You’re obviously a lot stronger the older you get. Coming into your prime years now 25 onwards makes a big difference in what you can do. “I feel like I’m bowling really well even though in those conditions it didn’t quite suit me.”
The 25-year old took 11 wickets in the recently concluded series and is desperate to take that form to the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. However, he will be well aware of the fact that the conditions will be a lot tougher in Sri Lanka. He will hardly get any assistance from the pitches in Sri Lankan pitches.
Over the last six months or so, Hazlewood has become the leader of the Australian bowling attack and he had led the side brilliantly in the absence of star bowler Mitchell Starc. Fellow pacer Peter Siddle, who will miss the Sri Lanka series due to an injury, has said that Hazlewood has found the much-needed balance to excel in all the formats.
“It’s obviously a hard task to combine it all with the rigours of one-day and T20, there’s so much to be played and it’s hard to maintain it all.
“But he’s got a good balance and it’s working for him and his performances are showing that. He had a good Test series in the West Indies (last year) and followed it up with a good one-day series this year.
“He’s come a long way (and) it’s great to see, he’s a great teammate and friend. He’s a leader, he’s always had that more mature, wiser head on him.
“He’s been great to have around the group, his cricket brain mixed with the older guys and the captaincy of Steve, it’s a very wise group even though it’s a young group, it’s a wise with a lot of cricket experience there and they understand the game well.”
While the Sri Lankan pitches will be tough to bowl at but Hazlewood is confident that his experience of bowling in the Caribbeans will help him in Sri Lanka.
“I think the conditions will be a little bit similar actually, the wickets we played on in the West Indies were a little bit slow and I think they’ll be similar in Sri Lanka,” Hazlewood said.
“I think it was a good lead-in to get some good bowling on those sorts of surfaces. “I’ve been talking a bit to Nathan Lyon and guys who have played in those conditions, and our support staff who have obviously bowled in those conditions, so it’s good to talk to them and learn a bit about those wickets.”