India vs Australia: Would be surprised if ball flies around, says Josh Hazlewood | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India vs Australia: Would be surprised if ball flies around, says Josh Hazlewood

Josh Hazlewood said he would be surprised if the MCA Stasium pitch produces enough bounce during the first India-Australia Test match, starting on Thursday

cricket Updated: Feb 21, 2017 20:55 IST
Bihan Sengupta
Josh Hazlewood (C) is one of Australia’s pace mainstays in the four-Test series against India.
Josh Hazlewood (C) is one of Australia’s pace mainstays in the four-Test series against India.(AFP)

Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood on Tuesday brushed aside claims by pitch curator Pandurang Salgaoncar and said that he would be surprised if the ball actually flies past batsmen at the MCA Stadium during the first Test.

“I would be surprised if (the ball) flies around here,” Hazlewood said at a media interaction. “I think there is still a day and half for the start. We will have a good look in the morning of the game and see how it looks. Hopefully it will fly around.”

Earlier, Salgaoncar had said that he can’t guarantee a turning track and it would depend on an individual’s quality to turn the ball on the MCA track. However, he added that he can vouch that the pitch would have enough bounce and pace to tease batsmen.

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But Hazlewood wasn’t too convinced with the former pacer’s verdict. “In Australia, you get good bounce in most of the games. Obviously you are not going to get that here and have to look (to) get five wickets elsewhere in other ways, whether it’s through reverse swing, or cutters on wickets that can spin and grip as well. I have been working hard on a few different things and hopefully, can put them in practice this week.”

Hazlewood, who had taken a five-for in his debut Test against India at Brisbane, added that he didn’t even expect the balls to carry to the wicketkeeper after the first few sessions. “Maybe on Day One the nicks are going to carry with the harder ball. But it’s different to Australia where the nicks generally carry. But you have to get your head around it. Once it gets softer it’s not going to carry. You try and take wickets in other ways. Bowled, LBW, caught in front of the wicket, there are plenty of chances,” he added.

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The last time Australia tasted success in India was 13 years back when they had won a four-match series 2-1. On being asked if he had tried speaking to Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie or Michael Kasprowicz, who shared 43 wickets between them in that series, Hazlewood said, “No I haven’t… Just a bit of reading articles and things as such. In India, you need to bowl a lot straighter while back in Australia you can bowl on the area around the off-stump. It will be a lot about drying out the runs as well.”