Patience behind Hazlewood’s strong form

Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is embracing his role as the methodical man alongside two left-arm antagonists out to intimidate.

Australia are set to name an unchanged pace attack for next week’s Ashes opener, with Ryan Harris’ knee woes expected to keep the veteran out of the XI.

Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson proved an effective combination in the West Indies.

The youngest of the trio was named man of the series, the latest chapter in a burgeoning career that already features a pair of five-wicket hauls in five Tests.

“Early on, I used to get two or three wickets in an innings or four for the game – I never got that five-wicket haul,” he said.

“I think it was just being young and trying to get the batsman out every ball, rather than bowling that line and setting him up.

“As a young bloke, you’re just trying to tear in and bowl as fast as you can all the time, so I thought about that for a while and it started clicking to bowl within myself.

“You end up taking more wickets with that (effort ball) because … because they’re getting used to that other pace.”

The 24-year-old boasts a Test bowling average under 20 and the title of Australia’s next metronome – bestowed by Glenn McGrath himself.

Bowling coach Craig McDermott, McGrath and Dennis Lillee are among a handful of well-placed judges to have suggested Hazlewood’s smothering style should work well in England.

“I enjoy the Duke (ball) a lot,” the right-armer said.

“The wickets are a lot slower … I’ve enjoyed seeing it swing a fair bit at training.

“There’s always a little bit off the seam or in the air in English conditions, especially when it’s overcast and the ball is quite new.”

Hazlewood, Starc and Johnson all had stints with the new rock in the Caribbean.

The notion of being a first-change bowler offended Johnson in the early stages of his career, but the 33-year-old is happy to do whatever is required in Cardiff.

“I love to have the new ball in my hand but, if I don’t get it, that’s no big deal,” Johnson said.

“We saw Mitch Starc and Josh take the new ball in the West Indies in that second Test and that seemed to work really well.”

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!