As we inch closer to the all-important Ashes, the Aussie bowling line-up has turned out to be a lethal one in all aspect. Headed by three fiery speedsters Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, the bowling department is bound to be a nightmare for the Englishmen.
While the three gentlemen have their different strong points, spinner Nathan Lyon believes Josh Hazlewood is the best in the world.
Hazlewood currently occupies the 6th position in the ICC Test rankings which is topped by James Anderson of England. According to Lyon, Hazlewood has brilliant control and has a variety of skills that make him stand out from everyone.
Lyon flattered the 26-year-old by saying he is not only the best in the world but is a benchmark in Test cricket for other bowlers. Apart from Hazlewood, the Australian line-up will include Mitchell Starc who is arguably the fiercest bowler on the planet along with Dale Steyn.
His pinpoint accuracy and raw pace make him a predator every team would love to have. After recovering from a foot fracture early this year, Starc wrecked havoc in the first two JLT Sheffield Shield matches. He also claimed a career-best 8-73 with the pink ball in hand against South Australia and then took dual hat-tricks in his next outing against Western Australia.
“I think Josh Hazlewood, in my book, is the best fast bowler in the world and by a long way,” Lyon told reporters in Brisbane before Australia’s first major pre-Test training session at the Gabba.
“He can do anything. He’s quick; he can bowl bumpers, he can control the new ball, he can swing it in and out, he can reverse it” added Lyon. I haven’t seen a bowler who’s got that control in a long time.”
“I’m happy for you to put it in the headline – he’s the best fast bowler in the world,” said Lyon.
Lyon admitted that Australia would have it easy if all three of these assets fire together at the right time on the right occasion.
“I think our bowling squad is actually quite strong, and it’s probably the strongest attack we’ve had in a couple of years if I’m being brutally honest,” Lyon said. To have these guys all up and firing together, it’s exciting. I’m very confident that our bowling squad can take 20 wickets.” said Lyon.
“There’s also some cracks underneath the surface with the (England) fellows who’ve come out here (in 2013-14). Alastair Cook, he faced Mitchell Johnson out here. Joe Root (current England captain) got dropped last time he was out here.”
“So there are some cracks under the surface that we can hopefully … crack them right open again and put them under pressure.” Lyon concluded.