Josh Hazlewood set for Ashes 2021-22 with limited red ball preparation as ICC Twenty20 World Cup approaches
Josh Hazlewood believes he is capable of putting on another dominant Ashes performance with minimal preparation from Sheffield Shield, but admits that he is still weighing in on the mindset and focus shifts he will need if he wants to feature successfully in Australia’s tilt at the Twenty20 World Cup. in the UAE prior to home testing.
Alongside a rhythmic Mitchell Starc, Hazlewood smashed the West Indies’ higher order in the one-day international opening match in Barbados on Tuesday night, but the 50-year-old format is not the one with big prizes up for grabs in the next months: test cricket and Twenty20 are.
In 2019, Hazlewood was returning from a back injury, and the selectors preferred to retain him from the ODI World Cup and even the first Ash Test at Edgbaston before he came to life with 20 wickets at 21.85.
While now considered a distant memory “almost forgotten”, Hazlewood recalled how he and Pat Cummins destroyed India in the first test in Adelaide last summer as evidence that they won’t need much in preparing the Sheffield Shield for ashes.
“I think we showed last year that not playing a red ball game doesn’t really have an impact,” Hazlewood said from Barbados. “Patty and I did pretty well, especially on that first test. [in Adelaide] but all summer long and that was on the back of no red ball cricket.
“So I think every time you play international cricket, my role in ODI cricket is not much different than test cricket – it’s about hitting that line and length and challenging the top of the stump. So whenever I’m bowling in international cricket, I feel like I’m in a good position to play in the format that is coming. “
However, Hazlewood and his teammates received a short and acute lesson in the Twenty20 mindset when the West Indies defeated them 4-1 in Saint Lucia. The Australians have yet to find a way to handle Hayden Walsh jnr’s wrist twist, and the hosts rebounded quickly after Hazlewood claimed an exceptional 3-12 in the first game to charge him a much higher price (1-104 off 11 overs) for the remainder of the series.
“I haven’t played much T20 cricket for Australia and it’s good to have a series of matches together and work on some things against one of the best teams in the world in the West Indies. It was also good to see the way they did it, ”Hazlewood said. “Obviously they are specialists in that format and just to see their rapids and their players do their thing, you can learn a lot there too.”
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