Ashes: Josh Hazlewood rules out chance of Australia using 4 pacers in opener
Josh Hazlewood joined coach Darren Lehmann in saying Nathan Lyon’s recent performances makes him a certainty for the Ashes 2017-18 opener of Ashes on November 23 in Brisbane, and that the Aussies might not use four speedsters to accommodate the spinner.cricket Updated: Sep 18, 2017 18:32 IST
Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood on Monday ruled out the possibility of his side fielding a four-pronged pace attack, for the opening Test of the Ashes 2017-18 at The Gabba in Brisbane.
The Ashes 2017-18 begins November 23 at the venue where Australia have enjoyed an impeccable record. Australia have not lost a Test at The Gabba since 1988 when West Indies had pummelled them by nine wickets.
While Australia are hoping to have a battery of pace attack ready — which includes Mitchell Starc, Hazlewood, Pat Cummins, James Pattinson and Jackson Bird — by the time Ashes begins, the recent performances of their ace off-spinner Nathan Lyon has made him a strong force in the team’s bowling attack.
Lyon finished with 22 wickets in the two-Test series in Bangladesh, following which Australia’s head coach Darren Lehmann had declared that he was a certainly for the Ashes 2017-18 opener.
Hazlewood, who had bowed out of the Bangladesh tour in the first Test at Mirpur due to a side strain, had acknowledged that it will be very difficult to keep Lyon out of the mix.
“The way Nathan has bowled it’s been absolutely fantastic the last couple of years. Just for the balance of the team it’s always handy to have a spinner there and probably only fit three quicks in,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
As the build-up for the Ashes 2017-18 intensifies, Hazlewood has thrown in his bit of observation about the England batsmen. He feels the visitors do not have enough experience in the middle order.
“(England) have got a couple of experienced guys at the top but through that middle order is a little bit inexperienced. The earlier we can get those guys in and out in the middle the better. They’re obviously going to rely a bit on Cook and Root so there’s some quality players there so it’s going to be hard yards,” he added.
Talking about his injury, Hazlewood said there is plenty of time left for the Ashes and he has enough time to prepare. “It’s just a regulation side strain, fairly common for a quick. But it’s going along really well. It’s been a bit over two weeks now so probably another two or three weeks and start bowling,” he said.