He’s the first to arrive at practice and the last to leave: Josh Hazlewood praises teammate RCB Kohli before the WTC meet

Hazlewood, who has battled multiple injuries over the past six months, was forced to cut his IPL career short because of side problems. Nevertheless, he feels he won’t be able to play at full strength anytime soon, as Australia prepares for the big finals.

Speaking about Kohli, whose wicket he will target at the Oval, Hazlewood said the Indian superstar’s work ethic makes him the player he is.

I think it’s probably how hard he works (which makes him stand out). First and foremost, his physicality and then his skill, particularly his hitting and pitching.

He always comes out (to practice) first and leaves last…and the intensity with which he consistently trains is at such a high level that he pulls everyone else in. That can be passed on to other players and improve them, Hazlewood told ICC.

About RCB’s leading fixer Siraj, who is expected to play an important role in the WTC finals, Hazlewood said: I was a little late getting there (at RCB this year), but he was on fire before that.

He’s always at the top of the wicket, and it’s probably all about economy, as bowling at Chinnaswamy (RCB’s home ground) is sometimes impossible, and he was coming out at six or six and a half per over. His control was great, and he plays well.

Close to playing at full pace


The Australian cricket team is training at Formby in England ahead of the WTC final. Hazlewood trained with the team on Monday and said he was feeling good before the big game.

My fitness is pretty good, and it’s just a matter of practicing every practice until that date (June 7).

We’ll probably have three to four more sessions – batting against the ball and then a couple of longer days in the nets or on the center wicket in London – so it’s just a matter of ticking the last few boxes and getting good preparation after each session, he said.

That was pretty close (to full pace today). I went down to the bowling alley yesterday to relax and get a little more out of today’s session, so I’m feeling good. It’s always good to have the first practice session, and when we get to London we’ll go into steam, he added.

Hazlewood was only able to take part in three IPL matches before his injury took its toll.

In T20 you bowled.a lot of different balls every time. Wide yorker, with a bounce.r, on a slower ball, and it probably got a little jammed and some scar tissue from previous injuries got inflamed.

It calmed down pretty quickly, I had a week off, but I couldn’t get back to 100 percent in the IPL. But the last few bowls have been good, and I’m getting in good shape, he said.

Having played 15 Tests against India, Hazlewood is looking forward to playing the Asian giants on a neutral ground.

That’s a strange statistic, since I think I’ve played a lot of cricket against them. It will be interesting to play them here in England.

It will be interesting for both teams how they do it and how different it is from playing them in Australia or India, because usually you only play them there, he said.

It’s the most interesting thing, and everyone is looking forward to next week, he added.

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