Bowlers with tricks can dominate T20: Hazlewood

Kolkata, March 14 (IANS) Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood says a bowler with a bagful of tricks can dominate Twenty20 cricket easily, adding that spinners have been successful for the same reason.

“If you are a bowler and you have a lot of tricks you can dominate the game. Certainly, spinners do it over here but as a quick it is quite tough. Upfront you have to take wickets and put the batting team on the backfoot otherwise they will have plenty of freedom for the rest of their innings,” Hazlewood told reporters here on Sunday after a Australia-West Indies World Twenty 20 warm-up game.

The 25-year-old grabbed a hat-trick in the game getting rid of Jason Holder (6), Marlon Samuels (0) and Dwayne Bravo (0) early. However, his efforts went in vain as the West Indies chased down Australia’s total with three wickets to spare.

Speaking about the hat-trick he said: “On that wicket we were just told to bowl good length with the new ball. I just tried to hit the top of the wicket. I was lucky enough to get a couple straight on and they missed them. Pretty happy with the effort. There’s a few things to work on, but we are improving with time.”

Hazlewood said he wasn’t trying much out there in the middle and was only trying to bowl full and straight.

“Not much really, full and straight if you are hitting the stumps you are in the game. I had a couple of opportunities in the summer I didn’t get it right so I was happy tonight,” he said.

Even after such an impressive bowling performance, the right-armer is not assured of a place in the Australian playing XI as he faces tough competition from the likes of Nathan Couter-Nile and Andrew Tye.

“I did as well I could have — couple of the guys did not bowl in the match. But there will be competition for every spot, so let’s see what happens on Friday (Australia versus New Zealand),” he said.

“They (the selectors) will probably have the XI at the back of their mind. But everytime you get an opportunity you try and grab it with both hands, happy with how it went.”

In the 50-over World Cup last year too Hazlewood faced serious competition from James Pattinson, but then the selectors gave him the nod for the final. But the pacer believes not much of chopping and changing will happen in this tournament.

“Because the 50-over World Cup was six weeks and you could come in but this one there’s only four games in very quick time so there won’t be much chopping or changing but then it will also depend on the conditions and the grounds as to what suits best,” he said.

When questioned as to why they lost the game as they had the West Indies on the backfoot at 27/4, Hazlewood said: “I think they have some dangerous hitters down the order. If it was a game in the tournament we would have gone differently about it. I think we tried a few different things, we would not have done that in a real game. But we can still improve on execution of our plans.”

The pacer also claimed that the Eden wicket was “pretty good” to bowl on but that it got lower with time.

“Pretty good (Eden pitch). I think as the game went on it got probably a little lower. I think we bowled well upfront but once the ball got softer, a few more change ups or cutters in the wicket could have gone well rather than what we bowled. We tried bowling Yorkers, probably the easiest to hit on those conditions if you get it wrong,” he said.

Hazlewood added a little more experience might have helped them in the spinning department and heaped praises on seasoned all-rounder Shane Watson.

“We always wanted an experience spinner. But we still have (Adam) Zampa (leg spinner), he had a go today, and probably will learn more as and how the tournament progresses,” he said.

“Shane’s a special player. His knowledge of these grounds and conditions would be valuable,” he said.

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