Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has praised the pacer Josh Hazlewood for his evolution as a reliable T20 bowler. He has also termed the right-arm pacer as the best Aussie pacer in the T20 format at the moment.
Over the years, Josh Hazlewood has been seen as a Test and ODI specialist despite him making his T20I debut in 2013. However, in the last couple of years, the 31-year-old pacer has evolved his game as per the T20 format as well. Josh was a key member of their first-ever title triumph in the previous T20 World and now Shane Watson feels that Australia need Josh Hazlewood at his best once again to defend the title on the home soil.
“I always thought he was a Test and ODI bowler” – Shane Watson on Josh Hazlewood
With some consistent performances in the T20 arena, Josh’s stocks are on a rise in the shortest format of the game. Now, the legendary Aussie all-rounder, Shane Watson has heaped praises on the Hazlewood’s bowling.
“It has been amazing to see Josh Hazlewood’s evolution as a T20 bowler,” was told Isa Guha while speaking on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“I always thought he was just a Test and one-day bowler because he didn’t have that many defensive options in T20 cricket, but he has developed tremendously over the past couple of years,” added Watson.
The all-rounder also opened up on how Josh Hazlewood’s sting with Chennai Super Kings has helped the pacer to become a better T20 bowler.
“It was a huge opportunity for him to play for CSK (Chennai Super Kings) and they gave him a really good run and let him find his feet in that previous IPL heading into the T20 World Cup. And right now he is Australia’s best T20 fast bowler, there is no question,” explained Shane Watson.
Watson also anticipates that Hazlewood is going to be a key player for Australia heading to the T20 world cup.
“Josh shows that you don’t really have to be able to do something truly different to be a really good T20 bowler. If you are great at really executing your yorkers, your change of pace, but also then your stock ball is at the top of the stumps at good pace, then you can be very effective. He has shown that he has been one of the world’s best over the last couple of years; he is going to be very important for Australia’s defence of the T20 World Cup,” Shane Watson further added.
The former all-rounder has also opined that the home conditions in Australia will help Josh Hazlewood in producing more lethal performances in the upcoming T20I world cup.
“The Australian conditions will suit him more than in India because the wickets there are a little bit slower, so his length the ball does sit up a little bit more. Whereas in Australia that back of a length does skip through more, so he is going to be more effective in Australia. To be able to play any World Cup at home you are going to be jumping out of your skin to play, so I am sure he will be one of Australia’s best bowlers during that tournament,” concluded Shane Watson.