Sydney, March 26(IANS) - Australia captain Michael Clarke won the toss and opted to bat…
India have been in wretched form Down Under, however, going win less from their three matches in the tri-series against England and Australia in recent weeks.
Josh-Hazlewood (File photo) Josh Hazlewood (File photo) Getty Images
Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has played down India’s 106-run drubbing in a World Cup warm-up against the co-hosts on Sunday, saying it was a ‘matter of time’ before the champions clicked.
Australia dominated India in batting, bowling and fielding in the Adelaide match to bolster their status as favourites to win the global showpiece which starts on Saturday. India have been in wretched form Down Under, however, going winless from their three matches in the tri-series against England and Australia in recent weeks.
“It’s just a matter of time until their batting order clicks,” Hazlewood told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday. “They’ve got some outstanding players and they’ve all got great records. I think it’s just a matter of time before they get going. They’re a very dangerous side,” added Hazlewood.
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Australia have been in ominous form in the lead-up, going undefeated to win the tri-series despite missing injured captain Clarke, who is nonetheless expected to play in the team’s warm-up match on Wednesday against United Arab Emirates at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
James Faulkner’s side strain has been the only major issue and Hazlewood underscored the fast bowling all-rounder’s value as “an edge” over the 13 other teams who will compete at the World Cup. “I think it’s just that batting edge, probably especially when Faulks (Faulkner) is in that team, to have him at eight at full strength is probably the key,” he said.
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“Where other teams probably have bowlers who can bat a bit, we’ve got Jimmy down there who can finish it off.
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With Mitchell Johnson to lead the attack and Faulkner almost certain to be included if fit, Hazlewood will compete with left-armer Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins for the remaining pace spots. Though one of the junior members of the pace battery, Hazlewood has been impressive in his eight one-day matches and said he would have ‘no problem’ being picked for “death bowling” duties during the World Cup.
“Yeah, definitely,” he said. “All the bowlers want to have that opportunity to win the game for Australia whether you’re bowling the start, the middle or the end. I think the end’s obviously crucial. We’ve seen Starc and Faulkner do the job in previous games but everyone wants that opportunity to prove themselves,” signed off Hazlewood.