Josh Hazlewood was one bowler who carried massive expectations going into the Ashes earlier this year. However, things went downhill for the lanky pacer with every game, as he seemed to lose his rhythm and concentration. Hazlewood was also dropped from the final test and instead the experienced Peter Siddle was given a go. The young pacer though is not deterred and aims to make a stronger comeback into the test arena.
“It was the longest Test series of my career so far,” Hazlewood said. “I think I just slowly went downhill from halfway through that third Test – a bit of fatigue, whether it was mentally or physically, I am not too sure. I started bowling a few loose deliveries and, obviously, didn’t quite do my role to the best that I have before in keeping it tight and keeping those dots piled up,” said Hazlewood.
The seamer also spoke about the differences in the conditions in West Indies and England, which he toured earlier. “The different Dukes ball in the West Indies I found pretty easy to handle. I think it was the overhead conditions as well that played a part in England, just to land that ball in the same spot over and over, it’s quite easy in Australia with the Kookaburra where it doesn’t do as much off the wicket and in the air. It was a bit more a challenge, especially on those two wickets in Tests three and four. We saw how well the English guys did it, and it’s something to work on for next time, definitely.”
“Hazlewood admitted that he looked back at the Ashes as a great learning experience. “Looking back definitely.” “It was the biggest series I’ve played in, a similar feeling to the World Cup, but it gets a bit much sometimes and the emotion can play on your mind and you start thinking a bit too much about the game. I think the less I think about bowling the better I go most of the time, so try to keep it pretty simple.”
“Playing six or seven first-class games in a row I don’t think I’d done that in my career up to that time, so Rod Marsh and Boof came up and said ‘I think we’ll start the rest period now’. They’d already won the Ashes by then, so it was a bit of an opportunity in a pretty hectic schedule to start that time off bowling and have that time to refresh and get that strength back and come back now a little bit fitter and fresher than I was.”
The seamer concluded by saying that there was a healthy competition within the Australian pace bowling department. “With all the quicks going around now … there is always competition for spots,” Hazlewood said. “Obviously, Sidds is quite similar to my role in the way that he bowls. I don’t always see it as head to head but there is always competition there.