The 29-year-old Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood recently revealed the name of the batsman who gave him the toughest time in his cricket career.
Josh Hazlewood is one of the crucial members of the present strong Australian pace-bowling line-up. After making his international debut in 2010, Hazlewood has played 51 Tests, 48 ODIs and seven T20Is, where the right-arm pacer has taken 195, 78 and eight wickets respectively.
Recently, when Hazlewood was asked about the toughest battle in his career, the Aussie pacer took the name of the Indian Test-specialist cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara during India tour of Australia 2018/19.
While India won their first-ever Test series in Australia in that summer, Pujara won the Player of the Series award after finishing as the leading run-scorer. The right-handed Indian batsman scored 521 runs in seven innings with an average of 74.42, including three centuries and an only half-century.
Hazlewood recently told WION, “There’s been a few over the years. Obviously, Pujara couple of summers ago was quite tough work. He had a really good series, and probably was the standout batsmen from both sides so he was really hard work.”
AB de Villiers was always a tough battle: Josh Hazlewood
Talking about the other toughest batsmen, Hazlewood took the names of the present fav four – Indian captain Virat Kohli, England Test captain Joe Root, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson along with his Australian teammate Steven Smith.
Hazlewood further added that the former South African captain AB de Villiers was also a tough batsman to dismiss and the Aussie pacer is happy to not bowl him at present due to his international retirement.
Hazlewood said, “There’s always that group we talk about – Virat Kohli, Joe Root and Kane Williamson along with Stevie (Smith). That group is always the key wicket for each team.
AB de Villiers (Photo credit should read GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
AB de Villiers was always a tough battle, pretty happy he has retired from international cricket (laughs). So different team has different players and it is ultimately about adapting to each team.”
While the Indian team will again tour in Australia in the upcoming 2020/21 summer, Hazlewood and the other Aussie bowlers will have to plan again how to dismiss Kohli and Pujara.
The Aussie pacer claimed, “Nothing yet (plans to dismiss Pujara). We need to have a few team
meetings, bowlers meeting to come up with something. Because obviously, he is a key along with Virat and a few other guys. But if you focus too much on a player then others can hurt you. So the top 6 is always important.”
We need to give a payback to India after last time: Josh Hazlewood about the upcoming home Test series against India
Hazlewood feels that the forthcoming four-match home Test series against India will be huge for both teams and they have to pay back the visitors this time. While he admitted that the Indian team has a strong bowling attack, which was one of the major reasons for India’s success in the last Australia tour, Hazlewood also pointed out their improved batting line-up with the presence of Steven Smith, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne.
Josh Hazlewood said, “Obviously we have got Steve (Smith) and David (Warner) back and Marnus (Labuschagne) has come leaps and bounds. The bowling attack is similar to what it was but it is the batting which now has a lot more depth and experiences from the last time India toured. India’s bowling attack got us last time and that is what we don’t like to happen on our home soil. So we want to get India in that department.
“But as you said, everyone is going to watch this series. It has almost reach the point where it has reached point like the Ashes now. It is a huge series for both teams and we need to give a payback to India after last time.”
The upcoming four-match Test series between the hosts Australia and the visitors India will run from 3rd December 2020 to 7th January 2021.