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Dont want to be rested insists Hazlewood

Wisden India Wisden India 9/12/2015 Wisden India staff
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Josh Hazlewood is desperate to play in all Test matches Australia play this summer, despite Rod Marsh, the chief selector, saying recently that the pacer would find it tough to play all the six matches lined up because of a heavy workload.

Marsh suggested last week that “it would be very difficult for Josh to get through six Test matches in a summer and then go to New Zealand and play two more (next February)”, which indicated that Hazlewood might be rested before the end of the three-Test series against West Indies, starting in Hobart on Thursday (December 10).

That assessment came after Steven Smith noted after the Adelaide day-night Test against New Zealand that the team didn’t “want to break him".

However, two days before the first Test against West Indies, Hazlewood said he felt in good shape. “I definitely wouldn't want to be rested for either of those last two games (against West Indies, in Melbourne and Sydney) and especially not this one, the first against the West Indies,” he said on Tuesday.

“I hope I can play all of them, depending on how much workload we have. If we can take these 20 wickets as quickly as possible, I don't see why I can't play all three Tests.

“Depending on how much I bowl throughout these next couple of games, there is another decent break after this game (12 days until the Boxing Day Test) and then the hardest ones are probably the last two (Melbourne and Sydney) back to back. But I am feeling pretty good at the moment, and hopefully it stays that way.”

The recent spate of injuries to Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and James Pattinson, back for the Hobart Test, as well as Mitchell Johnson’s retirement, has prompted a debate on Australia’s pace bowling reserves. Hazlewood, however, was positive.

“I guess with my history of injuries that people are entitled to their opinion, but I feel as good as I have through my career,” he said. “And I think I showed last summer, I bowled quite a few overs in the Tests I played (against India) and got through the majority of the winter tours (to the West Indies and the UK) as well.

“You have got to be honest with the selectors and coach (Darren Lehmann) and Smithy. They value the bowlers’ opinions on how you feel. As long as you are honest, it's good communication to and fro. They take a lot from how the bowler feels and how the physio sees things.”

Hazlewood, who debuted against India late last year, will now be leading the pace attack, most likely with Peter Siddle. “We are obviously going to miss both Mitches, they both bring different things to the bowling attack but I guess it is good that I am the one who Smithy turns to, especially in that second innings in Adelaide,” said Hazlewood about his 6 for 70 that set up Australia’s three-wicket victory in the final Test against New Zealand.

“That added pressure I enjoy, hopefully it brings the best out of me. If I continue to bowl like that, it would be good.”

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